The NBA is continuing to be the most socially conscious major sports league.
Monday, January 18, marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the NBA is honoring the minister and activists with a specially designed t-shirt. Teams suiting up between Jan. 14–18 will wear custom Nike MLK Day warm-up t-shirts designed in collaboration with the NBPA, MLK Foundation, and Martin Luther King III.
The front of the Black teet-shirt “NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE JUSTICE A REALITY FOR ALL,” while the back reads “HONOR KING” with the lettering imprinted with Dr. King Jr.’s signature. What makes the shirt even more special is the fonts are taken from actual signs that were prominent during his 1968 march.
And those words featured on the shirt should sound very familiar as they’re from MLK’s timeless “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington back on Aug. 28, 1963.
The day won’t just be capped off with a triple header — Warriors vs. Lakers – Phoenix Suns vs. Memphis Grizzlies, Bucks vs. Nets, Magic vs. Knicks– but the league is also making sure to continue the conversation of social activism with a virtual roundtable.
The conversation will hopefully spark and “explore ways that people of all backgrounds can create meaningful change in their own lives and communities.”
NBA Champion and the league’s first Black General Manager Wayne Embry, National Civil Rights Museum President Terri Freeman and Founder of E Pluribus Unum and former Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu are expected to speak their minds, as Caron Butler will host the roundtable.
The 40-minute discussion will stream live on the NBA Twitter account on Monday, Jan. 18 at 11 a.m. ET. and you can join in on social media by using #NBAonMLK.
The commercial in support of the day’s celebration features poignant words of Dr. King.
“More than anything else, we’ve got to learn to love. Because we are all tied together, we must act now. We are in America, and we got to learn how to live together. We ain’t going nowhere. We need to learn how to love,” he can be heard saying as images are shown of players and coaches like Mark Cuban, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Vivek Ranadivé, Gregg Popovich, and Bradley Beal who have spoken out about racial discrimination in America.