OnMonday,19January,theUnitedStates(US)celebrated MartinLutherKingJr.Day,a daywhichisobservedeverythirdMondayofJanuary,markingthecivilright’sactivistbirthday(15January).Ontheday,thesportsfamilyalsohonouredthehumanrightsleader.
Throughout the day many US sporting stars, including the basketballers Dwane Wade and Maya Moore, the Olympic boxer medalist Claressa Shields, the 400m Olympic medalist Sanya Richards-Ross, used their social media pages to highlighted the day. Internationally, sporting leaders and athletes also emphasised Martin Luther King’s legacy.
— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) January 19, 2015
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend”
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) January 20, 2015
Dr. martin luther King Thank you for all you have done for our people! pic.twitter.com/uBJCiv7Yvm
— Anderson Silva (@SpiderAnderson) January 20, 2015
We pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King’s contribution for inspiring change. @CONCACAF
— Jeffrey Webb (@jeffreywebb) January 19, 2015
Encourage everyone to take the time to remember the life and impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. pic.twitter.com/7foLPeo1Yq
— James Franklin (@coachjfranklin) January 19, 2015
Dr Martin Luther King day in the states. Always pay homage… ❤️ http://t.co/zaCWpD3VBa
— Daniel Sturridge (@D_Sturridge) January 19, 2015
— NFL (@nfl) January 19, 2015
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) January 19, 2015
The US National Basketball League (NBA) marked the day by launching a video featuring some of the sporting starts that helped change the sport.
‘Breaking Barriers’ features the sports’ first openly gay player Jason Collins, who came out in 2014, and the game’s first female referee Violet Palmer, among other NBA greatest, such as Michael Jordan, the Iranian Hamed Haddadi and the German Dirk Werner Nowitzki, to highlight the league’s values of diversity, inclusion and union.
On the video NBA said: “The NBA has a strong history of firsts when it comes to breaking down racial barriers and proverbial glass ceilings.
“In this spot, we explore the strides made within the NBA that not only embody Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, but the overall guiding principles of the Civil Rights movement.”
With 24 of its 30 teams in action last Monday, the NBA has made the celebration of the civil rights leader a league-wide initiative.
In Atlanta, Marthin Luther King’s hometown, the basketball team Atlanta Hawks prepared a special tribute using their 3D court projection system and a full gospel choir to sing the player introductions.