The NBA mourned the passing of civil rights leader and long-time United States congressman Rep. John Lewis, who died Friday of pancreatic cancer. He was 80.
“The NBA Family mourns the passing of Rep. John Lewis, a great American hero and icon of the civil rights movement and the fight for equality who helped galvanize opposition to racial segregation and social injustice,” the league said.
Los Angeles Lakers standout LeBron James joined many other NBA stars who took to social media to pay their respects.
“Rest. In. Paradise John Lewis. #CivilRightsICON THANK YOU!!” James wrote on Twitter.
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul, who is the NBPA president, tweeted the following: “Thank you for keeping the dream alive all these years and paving the way for us.”
Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers reflected on Lewis’ life spent fighting for civil rights, equal justice and freedom on Saturday afternoon.
“Really sad day for our country,” Rivers said, per ESPN. “What is amazing is when you think of right now, some of the stuff that John Lewis was fighting for, we’re still fighting for. Voter suppression right now is at an all-time high.
“It’s amazing how hard we have a group of people who are trying to get people not to vote. Latinos, Blacks and young people are the targets. That’s what they are trying to get not to vote. It’s amazing when you think about how long ago that was and yet we are still fighting that fight.”
The Atlanta Hawks on Saturday also issued a statement on Lewis.
“The Atlanta Hawks mourn the loss of Congressman John Lewis. Last night, our city and country lost one of its heroes and most important civil rights icons who was highly regarded for his nearly six decades of social activism and getting into ‘good trouble,” the statement read. “He continued to inspire so many with his courage, sacrifice and unwavering dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles. His legacy will forever be remembered throughout the city’s peaceful protests to fight racial inequality in the 1960s, and our nation will be forever indebted to him for his lifelong dedication to public service.
“The entire Hawks organization sends their deepest condolences to Mr. Lewis’ family and his friends.”
–Field Level Media