AP Photo/Michael Conroy

LeBron James has been making a HUGE impact, on and off the court. We call this a SETAssist. Recently, LeBron decided along with his business partner Maverick Carter and his foundation to donate $2.5 million to an exhibit about Muhammad Ali that opened at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

LeBron told USA Today, “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.”

At the time of Muhammad Ali’s death LeBron said, “So many thoughts come to my mind when I think about the man who passed away yesterday.”  LeBron expressed that as a kid, he gravitated towards Muhammad Ali because he was a champion, but that he only knew as a kid what he did inside the ring and that as he got older and started to be more knowledgeable about sport in general and about the guys who paved the way for guys like him he then understood that he is the greatest of all time. LeBron said that Muhammad Ali was the greatest of all-time because of what he did outside of the ring. It was obvious how great of a boxer he was but that was only 20 percent of what made him as great as he was. 

USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt also noted that LeBrons donation will go toward adding historical context and memorabilia to the Ali exhibit.  The exhibit will highlight Muhammad Ali’s career in the ring as well as his social activism outside of the ring.

“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 told Zillgitt. “It’s also really important that actions like this by Mr. James encourage younger athletes and people with means to recognize the philanthropy and paying homage to those who went before, how crucially important that is.”

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