LeBron James Donates His ‘Equality’ Sneakers to the Smithsonian

LeBron James continues to build his off-court legacy.

Shortly after making headlines for opening a public school to serve at-risk youth and selling more than 100 game-worn sneakers to benefit his foundation, the NBA superstar has added a new good deed to his list: donating his very own Nike LeBron 15 Equality sneakers to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

LeBron James, equality sneakers
LeBron James shoots the ball while wearing his Equality sneakers on December 17.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

In December, James, while still a Cleveland Cavalier, made a bold political statement during his game against the Washington Wizards in DC when he stepped onto the court wearing mismatched black and white kicks.

Expressing his disapproval of President Donald Trump, James added after the game: “Well, being, obviously we all know where we are, and we know who is at the helm here, and we’re not going to let one person dictate to us, us as Americans, how beautiful and powerful we are as a people. Equality is all about understanding our rights, understanding how powerful we are as men and women, black or white or Hispanic.”

Now, the iconic sneakers are making their way to the DC museum, where they will be put on display in the fall. The announcement was made yesterday to a group of 59 students ages 12 to 17 who flew into the nation’s capital from across the country to attend a two-day experience including a tour of the monuments, a visit to Capitol Hill and a screening of a personalized video for the kids recorded by The King himself. (James was not present at the event due to prior obligations related to the launch of his new I Promise School in Akron, Ohio.)

“I used this shoe as inspiration,” he said in the video. “We are in the land of the free, and we all should feel like everyone’s equal. And I believe it all starts with our nation’s capital — that’s why I decided to wear it in Washington, DC.”

It’s not the first time James has donated to the Smithsonian. In November 2016, he contributed $2.5 million to support the museum, including its presentation titled “Muhammad Ali: A Force to Change.”

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