CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – LeBron James will receive the NAACP Jackie Robinson Sports Award prior to Wednesday’s matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves at Quicken Loans Arena, a press release from the NAACP announced.
James will be presented the prestigious honor by Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the National Board of Directors for the NAACP, shortly before the 7:00 p.m. tipoff in Cleveland.
Footage of the presentation will be aired during the 48th NAACP Image Awards, which will be hosted by Anthony Anderson on TV ONE on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 9 p.m. ET.
According to the release: “The NAACP Image Awards celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.”
In addition to James’ incredible accomplishments on the court, the press release also notes his influential charity work, including the “Wheels for Education” program and “Akron I PROMISE Network,” and his successes in the entertainment industry through his production company, SpringHill Entertainment.
“It puts a lot of things in perspective,” James told the media following Wednesday’s shootaround.
“I feel appreciative that they would want me to be the recipient of the award. Just goes back to what Jackie meant, not only playing the game that he played, but what he used that platform to do, to stand up and be the man that he was throughout those difficult times for a bigger cause, for guys like myself today that can be free and do whatever I want to do in this profession, to be able to walk and talk and say things that matter to me and hope that it’s going to be changed, he did it in a time where he wasn’t even allowed to speak up, you’re not allowed to say what you believe in, you’re not allowed because these are the rules and this is how it’s going to be. I just think he had a much bigger calling.
Some of the past recipients of the Jackie Robinson Sports Award include the Harlem Globetrotters, Anita DeFrantz, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Sugar Ray Leonard, Eddie Robinson, Michael Jordan and Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown.
“I can sit here today and be free and play the game that I love and be able to inspire so many people that’s going to come after me,” James added. “It’s a true honor for guys like Jackie and Muhammad (Ali), to have that vision. If they were here today, you could sit and talk to them and I guarantee that it wasn’t about them. It was about everybody that was going to come after them.”