Players’ Homage to King

By Vishnu Suresh

The National Basketball Association, one of the largest sports and basketball associations on the planet, recently celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr., an activist who led the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 to 1968.

The association and its players wore special warm-up shirts that read “Now is the time to make justice a reality for all” and on the back, “Honor King,” also scrawled with his signature. This shirt was worn before all nine games on the activist’s birthday, January 18, and other t-shirts had the famous words “I have a dream” and more quotes from MLK’s famous speech.

“I feel so proud of my country for turning an unfair, discriminative environment into an equal society that respects our personal views like religion, and the things that we were born with like the color of our skin. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the people who helped turn the world into an equal society so that the future of America would not have to go through what our ancestors did. I am extremely grateful that the American dream that MLK wanted was achieved,” said seventh-grader Meera Lal.

Reproduced with permission from Wikimedia Commons

NBA players league-wide wear the same shirt, symbolizing unity and honoring Dr. King.

The Atlanta Hawks, an organization within the NBA, donned the black-and-gold uniforms representing hardships and never-ending determination. Other teams and organizations wore uniforms with words of peace above their uniform numbers. This was meant to bring unity and support to everyone inside and outside the NBA.

“It’s cool that they are honoring a person who worked so hard to bring peace and equality to all people regardless of the color of their skin. Even though he has passed, he continues to live in the hearts of the people whose lives have been changed by him,” said eighth grader Madhav Shibu.

To celebrate the legacy of a man who gave his life fighting for the rights of people of color across the world, Dr. King was and will be honored, celebrated, and cherished by the players, coaches, and staff of the NBA.