HomeSportsWATCH: LeBron James Speaks Out on Significance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

WATCH: LeBron James Speaks Out on Significance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

by Keeli Parkey
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Days ahead of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, LeBron James shared what annual observance means to him. James shared his comments on ESPN after the Lakers’ win over New Orleans on Friday (Jan. 15).

James was asked in a postgame interview what the NBA can do to magnify Dr. King’s message. The NBA superstar opened his comments wishing the legendary Civil Rights leader a happy birthday. Dr. King was born on Jan. 15, 1929.

“I believe he would be 92 years of age if he was still here,” James added. “What he do for us every single day, his name, his words and his legacy still live on. So, he is shining his light on us every day. As NBA players and our league we continue to voice what he was talking about. About equality – all races, all shapes and sizes, all colors coming together for the better of happiness and the better of love.”

LeBron James also said there is still work to do to bring about equality. And, what can over come hate is love.

“We understand that we are going to see hate,” he said. “Hate is going to be a part of America, going to be a part of this world, but if we can have more people that’s in the love factor and not in the hate then we can continue to be better.”

James also said that NBA players and others need to share the lessons taught by Dr. King to the next generation. He also said he will continue to live by Dr. King’s message and use his platform as a sports star and celebrity to share that.

LeBron James, NBA Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

The NBA will be honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. from Jan. 14-18, according to the league’s website. As part of the celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy, teams playing from Jan. 14-18 will wear special T-shirts. The shirt will have a quote from Dr. King’s famous “I Have Dream” speech from Washington on Aug. 28, 1963.

The front of the shirts will read: “NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE JUSTICE A REALITY FOR ALL.” The back will read: “HONOR KING” and will feature Dr. King’s signature. The design was a joint effort between the NBPA, MLK Foundation, and Martin Luther King III.

Also according to the website, the NBA will host a Virtual Roundtable discussion on Dr. King’s vision and the current movement for social justice. Participating will be Toronto Raptors’ Senior Basketball Advisor and the league’s first Black General Manager Wayne Embry, National Civil Rights Museum President Terri Freeman and former Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu will join host Caron Butler, NBA Champion and Miami Heat assistant coach.

The roundtable will offer “a candid discussion on Dr. King’s life and vision for equality, as well as the impact of racism and inequity in communities today. The conversation will explore ways that people of all backgrounds can create meaningful change in their own lives and communities,” according to the league. It will stream live on @NBA Twitter account at beginning at 11 a.m. on Monday (Jan. 18).