When Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James has a passion for something, he will absolutely support it. He recently announced that he will donate $2.5 million to support “Muhammad Ali: A Force for Change,” an exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
“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 Sports on Thursday.
James, along with his charitable foundation and his business partner Maverick Carter, are pledging the donation.
“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,” said museum founding director Lonnie Bunch, according to USA Today.
Before the opening in September, Michael Jordan pledged $5 million to the museum.
The exhibit, which debuted with the museum’s opening, includes Ali’s headgear and training robe from trainer Angelo Dundee’s 5th St. Gym. It also celebrates his achievements in community activism, resistance, politics, spirituality and culture.
Ali, a three-time world heavyweight champion and social activist, died in June at the age of 74.
“I am overwhelmed by the incredible generosity LeBron James has shown,” said the boxer’ widow, Lonnie Ali, in a statement. “This exhibit will enable children visiting the Smithsonian to learn more about Muhammad’s work outside of the ring, particularly his humanitarian work and stance on social justice for all people. … I know that if Muhammad was alive today, he would be honored.” [Kelly Evans]