LeBron James to donate $2.5M to Mohammad Ali exhibit

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The Independent Online

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers will donate $2.5 million to support the upcoming Muhammad Ali exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.

"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," he told USA Today on Thursday.

The superstar forward will make the contribution with his business partner Maverick Carter, joining NBA legends Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson who have donated to the Smithsonian museum.

"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," Lonnie Bunch, the museum’s founding director told the news outlet.

Lonnie Ali, the legendary activist and boxer’s wife, said she was overwhelmed by James’ generosity. "This exhibit will enable children visiting the Smithsonian to learn more about Muhammad's work outside of the ring, particularly his humanitarian work and stance on social justice for all people,” she said in a statement. “I know that if Muhammad was alive today he would be honored.”