The Atlanta Hawks are paying tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. next season with a brand new jersey. On Sunday, the Hawks unveiled a new alternate jersey that will have King's initials on the front. It will be the first time in NBA history a team has a King alternate jersey, and the team said the "black, gold and white colorway speaks to Dr. King's determination, as well as his understated style."
"We were honored to learn of the Atlanta Hawks’ desire to pay homage to Dr. King's life and legacy by using him as the focus of their 2020 - 21 MLK Nike City Edition uniform design," Eric D. Tidwell, Esq., Managing Director & General Counsel of Intellectual Properties Management, Inc., (Manager of the Estate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) said in a press release. "During this challenging climate, it is our hope that this visual reminder of Dr. King's legacy will inspire people to further educate themselves on how he effected change using his philosophy and methods of nonviolence during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. We look forward to continuing to work with the Hawks to perpetuate his wonderful legacy."
It’s more than a uniform – it’s a commitment. Introducing the 20-21 MLK Nike City Edition uniform.October 4, 2020
It's fitting that the Hawks are honoring King since he called Atlanta home. The city of Atlanta is known for being a civil rights capital in this country and King was in the center of it during the 1960s. He led the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. King also delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. He was assassinated in 1968.
“It is an incredible privilege to be able to represent the legacy of Dr. King, one of Atlanta’s native sons and one of the nation’s most transformative leaders," Hawks chief marketing officer Melissa Proctor said. "His message of equality, non-violence, and justice is as relevant today as it was in the 60s and we are proud to not only help educate legions of young fans about Dr. King’s work, but empower them to pick up his mantle and embody the change they wish to see in their communities." Fans can pre-order the jersey now on the Hawks official website. They will be able to see the players wearing the jersey when the 2020-21 season begins, which could be as early as Jan. 18.