The NAACP Saturday bestowed NBA superstar, business entrepreneur, and philanthropist, LeBron James, will the prestigious President’s Award during the 52nd NAACP Image Awards.
The President’s Award is presented in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service, with previous recipients including Rihanna, Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter, Jesse Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Soledad O’Brien, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Muhammad Ali, among others. “
LeBron James is one of the greatest athletes of his generation, and through his work both on and off the court, has transcended beyond sports to become a cultural icon,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson, who will present the award to LeBron James during the LIVE TV special. “This is nowhere more evident than over the past year, where LeBron has used his platform to speak out on issues that were directly affecting the Black community including voting initiatives, police brutality, and racial inequality. LeBron epitomizes the type of leadership, sportsmanship, and commitment to social justice that we seek to highlight with our President’s Award.”
James accepted the award saying, “First of all, I wish I could be standing to accept this award, but the doctor told me I need to keep the weight off of my ankle,” he said, referencing an ankle sprain injury that has sidelined him from NBA action. “I appreciate all the well wishes and to my injury, I’ll be back soon.”
James also said, “It’s such a great honor to be recognized by such a great organization that continues to celebrate Black excellence. This award is obviously much more than myself, I’m here receiving it.”
James has been very active over the last year speaking out against serious issues Black America faces like racial policing and voter suppression. James used the opportunity to speak out against voter suppression, in light of the blatantly biased bill that Georgia Republicans have just passed.
“There’s a lot of voter suppression going on in the Black community where they try to take away our right to vote, take away our right to be heard and just take away anything we can do to make change,” James said. “For us to come together with some of my fellow athletes and fellow artists; it meant so much to do what we did in the November election, being able to bring things to where we felt like it would be better for our community and better for America.”