LeBron James donates $2.5M to Muhammad Ali exhibit at Smithsonian

african kings

LeBron James has long been a fan of Muhammad Ali, so when he had the chance to help support an exhibit for Ali at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, he was honored.

“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.

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“I think of him every day. Without his passion and goals and morals, I don’t know if I’d be sitting here today talking to you about it.”

Between James’ personal contributions as well as his foundations and his business partner, Maverick Carter, $2.5 million will go to the new exhibit, “Muhammad Ali: A Force for Change.”

“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. “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.”