Civil rights leader and longtime United States Congressman John Lewis passed away at 80 years old this week after a battle with cancer. Lewis was revered across America for his lifelong fight for the rights of African-Americans.
He was a colleague of Martin Luther King Jr. and was a keynote speaker at the March on Washington in 1963. With the ongoing fight for social justice and equality in the current day, Lewis’ passing hits home even harder.
The Los Angeles Lakers have players who have pushed hard on the subject, with LeBron James being the most outspoken athlete the world has seen in years, and Dwight Howard voicing plenty of concerns as talks for the NBA restart finalized.
“Not only what John Lewis meant to me but Black America, was never be afraid of good conflict, positive conflict, that can create change,” James reflected. “What John Lewis was able to do in his tenure and his time, not only with the Civil Rights Movement but also being in Georgia, the city of Atlanta, the things that he preached and stood for every single day, I think it hit home not only in areas he was in but for Black America all over the world.
“It was a sad day for all of us hearing that news. He was such a legend. But when you do the things that you do while you’re living, your legacy will live forever. My prayers and thoughts go out to his family, and my thoughts and prayers go to heaven above and the angels watching over him now.”
Howard is from the state of Georgia, so he has an even closer connection with Lewis even meeting him as a child. “I want to send out my condolences to his family and everyone that was affected by his loss,” Howard said.
“There’s a time and a place for everything. [Friday] was his time for transition. I understand how difficult that is. I’ve lost family members and people that have been close to me.
“I also understand there is a time for transition, and I think we should celebrate his life, everything he stood for, everything he fought for and how he represented us as Black people. I’d like to send my condolences to the family. May the spirit of Senator John rest easy and also not be forgotten.”
Howard’s recent struggles are well known as the mother of his son tragically passed away due to an epileptic seizure. That, combined with his desire to continue to fight for social justice for African-Americans, led to Howard almost deciding to not return to the Lakers to finish out the season.
Lewis was a major figure in that fight that is so important to Howard and James and this will undoubtedly push them to continue that fight for the betterment of African-Americans everywhere.
Dwight Howard focused on social justice after being reported in Orlando bubble
Howard nearly didn’t return to the Lakers to finish out the season as he really wanted to focus on the ongoing fight for social justice for African-Americans. After being reported to the NBA’s anonymous hotline and receiving a warning, Howard is turning his focus back on that mission.
“Besides the mission of basketball, I still want to continue to keep up awareness of what’s going on outside of the bubble,” Howard said.
“There’s things that have been happening that we still need to discuss. Breonna Taylor, the people who did the heinous incident against her, they’re still free and out there living their best life. I think instead of worrying about if I have my mask on or not, I think that’s something we should be discussing.
“Why haven’t these people been brought in, charged with anything or even arrested? That’s not right. There’s families out there mourning, white and black are being killed by cops. And the topic of discussion is who doesn’t have a mask on and people snitching. Let’s not forget why we are here.”
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