It is one thing to be proud of the play of a team on the court. But when they do such a good job off the court as well, it makes the recent history of the Memphis Grizzlies that much sweeter.
Few professional sports teams “get” their city and their history like the Memphis Grizzlies do, and last night’s “A Bridge to Opportunity’ event at the National Civil Rights Museum displayed that yet again. A panel including Grizzlies Head Coach David Fizdale and player Vince Carter discussed how sports and social justice can intertwine, and the Grizzlies organization unveiled a new uniform that will be worn for the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration game on January 15th and at various games throughout Black History Month.
From the piping of the uniform inspired by the railing of the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King spent his last moments, to the wreath that hangs at the spot where he was assassinated, this jersey set is a perfect example of how a professional team can make a powerful statement through their platform. An alternate jersey does not just have to look cool (although this one is pretty damn cool), it can also be a representation of a moment, a movement, and the work that still needs to be done.
As the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination approaches, reflecting on the past and looking ahead to what is next for our country with regard to civil rights remains a focus in the Memphis community. Last night’s event displayed the best of this, and the Memphis Grizzlies and National Civil Rights Museum are just two examples of what make Memphis a pretty special place.
If you missed the conversation and uniform unveiling, you can watch it here.