It’s always nice when celebrities make headlines for genuinely doing something positive and uplifting. Basketball superstar LeBron James is not only using his celebrity—but also his wealth—in a very inspiring way. James was so moved by the Muhammad Ali exhibit at the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History, that he donated a whopping $2.5 million towards it.
Source: Andrew D. Bernstein / Getty
The Huffington Post has further details about the surprise donation, as well as James’ words on why he decided to do it.
Via Huffington Post:
LeBron James is donating $2.5 million to support a Muhammad Ali exhibit at the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C., the basketball star and the museum announced on Thursday. The Cleveland Cavaliers forward said he was a longtime fan of Ali, one of the most beloved sports figures in history, who died on June 3 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s syndrome. “Every professional athlete, regardless of race and gender, owes a huge debt of gratitude to Muhammad Ali,” James said in a statement. “His legacy deserves to be studied and revered by every generation.”
The “Muhammad Ali: A Force for Change” exhibit features items from the late boxer, including a training robe worn at Dundee’s Fifth Street Gym in Miami. While the exhibit details Ali’s sports journey, it also highlights his community activism, spirituality and politics.
“We are extremely grateful to LeBron James,” said Damion Thomas, curator of the museum’s Sports Gallery. “As the most socially active superstar in sports today, LeBron James is a testament to the influence of Muhammad Ali (who) embodied the racial and social tumult of his times, blurring lines between politics and sports, activism and entertainment.”
In addition to the donation supporting the Ali exhibit, the funds will also be used for the museum, which boasts 36,000 items and artifacts that trace the journey of African-Americans.