LeBron James Donates $2.5 Million To Smithsonian For Muhammad Ali Exhibit
LeBron James will donate $2.5 million to support a Muhammad Ali exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The generous contribution was made by the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, longtime business partner Maverick Carter and the LeBron James Family Foundation.
“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.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian opened on September 24, and features the new Ali exhibit titled “The Muhammad Ali: A Force for Change.” Ali died in June at the age of 74.
“I think of him every day,” James said of Ali, the three-time heavyweight champion and social activist. “Without his passion and goals and morals, I don’t know if I’d be sitting here today talking to you about 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 said.
But just as in real life, LeBron doesn’t quite measure up to Michael Jordan. In August, His Airness pledged $5 million to the museum.