Source: Washington Post
LeBron James has added to his growing philanthropic portfolio with Thursday’s news that he, his charitable foundation and business partner Maverick Carter will donate $2.5 million for a new exhibit about Muhammad Ali at the recently opened Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.
“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,” James told USA Today.
James has been a longtime admirer of Ali, who passed away June 3 at the age of 74 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. The Cleveland Cavaliers star was playing in the NBA Finals at the time and spoke emotionally about how Ali’s life had affected his own.
According to USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt, James’s donation will go toward adding historical context and memorabilia to the Ali exhibit, which will span two portions of the museum and focus on both the champion boxer’s career in the ring and his social activism out of it.
“His support will help us to continue the story of Muhammad Ali and will encourage athletes to realize how important athletics is in terms of social justice,” museum founding director Lonnie Bunch told Zillgitt. “It’s also really important that actions like this by Mr. James encourage younger athletes and people with means to recognize the philanthropy and paying homage to those who went before, how crucially important that is.”