Doc Rivers, NBA mourn civil rights icon John Lewis

Doc Rivers was lucky to satisfy Rep. John Lewis a number of occasions and the LA Clippers coach hopes to proceed Lewis’ battle for equality and liberty.

Because the NBA mourned the passing of the civil rights icon and longtime U.S. congressman on Saturday morning, Rivers mirrored on Lewis’ life spent preventing for civil rights, equal justice and freedom and the way carrying on his legacy now could be very important with the upcoming election.

“Actually unhappy day for our nation,” Rivers mentioned earlier than apply Saturday. “What’s superb is if you consider proper now, a few of the stuff that John Lewis was preventing for, we’re nonetheless preventing for. Voter suppression proper now could be at an all-time excessive.

“It is superb how arduous we’ve a bunch of people who find themselves making an attempt to get folks to not vote. Latinos, Blacks and younger individuals are the targets. That is what they’re making an attempt to get to not vote. It is superb when you consider how way back that was and but we’re nonetheless preventing that battle.”

Rivers was considered one of many within the NBA neighborhood who paid tribute to Lewis, the civil rights legend who died Friday evening of pancreatic most cancers at 80. Lewis, who had his cranium fractured by an Alabama state trooper on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma throughout a march for voting rights to Montgomery, was the final surviving speaker from the March on Washington in 1963.

“The NBA Household mourns the passing of Rep. John Lewis, an amazing American hero and icon of the civil rights motion and the battle for equality who helped impress opposition to racial segregation and social injustice.” the league mentioned in an announcement Saturday.

Corridor of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar mentioned the primary time he met Lewis, he was so emotional shaking Lewis’ hand “as a result of it was such an vital life occasion for me.”

“John Lewis’ stature within the Civil Rights Motion was gigantic and the instance he set for folks like myself will endure,” Abdul-Jabbar tweeted. “I am glad that he acquired to see the efforts of his previous 60 years of activism bear such valuable fruit these previous couple of months as folks took to the streets, simply as he had, to battle for a simply and free America.”

Tweeted Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder level guard Chris Paul, who’s the NBPA president: “Thanks for holding the dream alive all these years and paving the best way for us.”

Rivers recalled one second with Lewis that can stick with the Clippers coach for the remainder of his life.

Whereas enjoying for the Atlanta Hawks in 1990, Rivers joined Lewis on Andrew Younger’s marketing campaign path to Albany, Ga. Younger, the previous Mayor of Atlanta and Ambassador to the United Nations, was operating for Governor of Georgia.

“Andrew Younger gave a speech at an all-White church,” Rivers mentioned. “He was unbelievable. It was a completely superb speech. The group was going loopy. We get on the aircraft and Andrew Younger says, ‘Younger Doc, what did you consider the speech?’ I jokingly mentioned, ‘Nicely, Mr. Younger, I believed the speech was nice. However I do not suppose you are getting one vote from that church.’

“Everyone began laughing. And John Lewis piped in and says, ‘Nicely, we’re not making an attempt to get all of them. We’re simply making an attempt to get one by one. And finally will probably be all of ’em.’ I believed that was one highly effective assertion.”

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