Basketball superstar Lebron James, his longtime business partner Maverick Carter, and the LeBron James Family Foundation have gotten together to donate a mind-boggling $2.5 million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian for a Muhammad Ali exhibit. The exhibit will be entitled, “Muhammad Ali: A Force for Change” and will honor the life of the legend who passed away this past June.
“Muhammad Ali is such a cornerstone of me as an athlete because of what he represented not only in the ring as a champion but more outside the ring — what he stood for, what he spoke for, his demeanor. I think of him every day. Without his passion and goals and morals, I don’t know if I’d be sitting here today talking to you about it.” – Lebron James
Lebron isn’t the only NBA legend who has contributed to the innovative and historical Smithsonian. Six-time champion Michael Jordan donated $5 million, and five-time champion Magic Johnson and his wife, Cookie will be contributing at least $1 million to the museum.
“I am overwhelmed by the incredible generosity LeBron James has shown. This exhibit will enable children visiting the Smithsonian to learn more about Muhammad’s work outside of the ring, particularly his humanitarian work and stance on social justice for all people.” – Lonnie Ali (Muhammad Ali’s Wife)
Ali was not just a champion in the boxing ring, he used his platform for a bigger cause and remained an advocate for social justice. James says that Ali’s persistent activist efforts helped pave the way for athletes like himself to become more than just athletes, to become global images and representations of power who push for change. James’ donation to preserve and promote Ali’s legacy will help ensure that the next generations of Americans will be familiar with the back story of the initial backlash the boxer faced for taking a stand, and they will be able to see where we have been and how far we have come.