Martin Luther King Jr. is one of those historical figures that shaped the way we live today and how American society will look into the future. Without him, Barack Obama wouldn’t currently be sitting in the Oval Office. Without him, generations of Americans wouldn’t have grown up color blind. Without him, the movement towards equality in the United States wouldn’t have found its way in the post-modern world.
More than almost any other sector of society, King’s greatness and impact in the world we live today is felt in the professional sports community.
This led to an outpouring of tributes from around the sports world.
— Navorro Bowman (@NBowman53) January 19, 2015
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 19, 2015
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 19, 2015
— Michael Sam (@MichaelSam52) January 19, 2015
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 19, 2015
— R.C. Davis (@hotplate33) January 19, 2015
"Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest." #MLKDay
— Scott Hanson (@ScottHanson) January 19, 2015
— Brandon League (@BrandonLeague43) January 19, 2015
— Steven Jackson (@sj39) January 20, 2014
Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Happy #MLK Day be blessed everyone…
— DeMarco Murray (@DeMarcoMurray) January 20, 2014
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. -MLK pic.twitter.com/AUmXEl73yF
— Jeremy Guthrie (@TheRealJGuts) January 19, 2015
I hope everyone takes a moment today to think of MLK and what he stood for…
— Barry Sanders (@BarrySanders) January 20, 2014
— MLB (@MLB) January 19, 2015
On a personal note, my first experience combining sports with Martin Luther King Jr’s impact on it was back in 1994 when the Golden State Warriors hosted the Phoenix Suns. My late grandfather purchased the tickets for himself and I. Golden State may have defeated the Suns in that game, but that’s not what I remember the most. My grandfather, who grew up during a time of racial proliferation, was a voice of reason and respect in my life. A father figure in every sense of the word, his life tips and the conversations we had remain a lasting memory in my life.
That day comes to mind in particular. As just a young pup, I didn’t understand full well King’s impact on my life. Pointing out Suns players Dan Majerle and A.C. Green embracing one another after the latter scored, my grandfather simply said “that wouldn’t have been possible without Mr. King.” It was simple, but it still sticks with me to this day.
So as we prepare to put this holiday behind us, let’s just forget what this great man did for us all. It’s something that is embedded within the fabric of our national conscience and will continue to play a role in generations in the future.
Photo: Time Magazine