By NIARA SAVAGE | Nashville Voice
Less than one month away from the close of 2018, America remains more politically divided, more socially disjointed, and more traumatized by domestic terrorism than in recent years.
Despite the conflict and negativity that have dominated this political year, 2018 has also seen its fair share of heroes.
News about Colin Kaepernick’s continued courageous fight against the NFL’s call for players to stand during the National Anthem, rather than kneel in protest of police violence, has dominated media networks.
The struggle reached its pinnacle and effectively broke the internet when Nike boldly decided to make Kaepernick the face of its new campaign.
Maxine Waters powerfully resurfaced on national news, and earned the affectionate name “Aunty Maxine,” among millennials, when she fearlessly faced off against Donald Trump this year. After receiving death threats as a backlash to her scuttle with Trump back in June, the gutsy 80-year old responded, “You’d better shoot straight.”
The Nashville Voice has selected LeBron James as its first Person Of the Year, for demonstrating a profoundly dedicated sense of character, on and off the court.
Even after witnessing how political and social activism derailed Colin Kaepernick’s NFL career, Lebron James–one of the greatest to ever play the game–risked his athletic legacy by remaining vocal about the oppressive social conditions impacting minority communities.
He was not afraid to call President Trump out, professing that 45 doesn’t “give a f*uck about the people.”
After incidences of police brutality became more widely visible on a national scale due to the use of cellphones, James quickly transformed his personal Instagram page into a resource for spreading awareness about social justice issues.
During late spring, James shared his platform of nearly four million followers, by featuring young activists on his page.
The activists include 11-year-old Kheri Rogers, who focuses on issues relating to colorism and self-love, and Delaney Reynolds, a college student and author dedicated to combating climate change.
LeBron’s spirit of activism did not end with powerful quotes and social media posts. In July, James announced that his latest philanthropic endeavor, had taken the form of the I Promise School, which will serve students grades 1-8 and be fully operational in 2022.
The eight million-dollar school targets at-risk children, provides students with bikes, free meals, and full scholarships to cover college tuition.
Although many young athletes aspire to rival his astounding talent on the court someday, LeBron’s personal commitment to moral values, as well as to his family, also makes him a role model.
The star-player is not only a legendary athlete and philanthropist, but a dedicated husband, and father of three.
The pervasiveness of Lebron James’ good-natured personhood, now expressed on the public stage, paves the way for the next generation of athletes to commit themselves to greatness in every capacity.