“If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Christmas speech 1967
April 4th 2018, thus today, marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, TN, USA.
In remembrance of Dr. King, I also thought to write few words on the topic, in light of sports. On 28th of August 1963, thus almost 55 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his influential speech – ‘I have a dream’. At the age of 34 and standing on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, US, in the front of about 250 000 people that came to listen, pastor King essentially called for equal rights for black and white people. In this regard much still remains to be done, but much progress has fortunately also occurred from those times.
While skin color or any other racial aspect is of course irrelevant, it is the case that nowadays in many events in sports such as in running, basketball, golf and numerous other occasions they are black people who dominate. Sports may actually still be one of the few globally practiced domains that can be reached by basically everyone, independently of social or other backgrounds. Indeed, while some of the most costly sport activities may not still be afforded by all, essentially everybody can for instance enjoy a run or walk in a city, park or forest, alone or together with friends.
This is not important for competitive purposes, but for the health and well-being of everybody. Being physically active is regarded so hugely important that even powerful Let’s Move – campaign was initiated by the former First Lady Michelle Obama. While this advice and encouragement (watch her speech below), by one of the leading Institutions, to be physically active should certainly be practiced by us all, let’s also today focus and listen how the husband of the First Lady keeps reminding us about the equal opportunities and rights for everybody.
While Barack Obama, the first black president of the USA, may not in every occasion address the benefits of being physically active, it is for sure that the man also symbolically listening to the speech, Abraham Lincoln, the man who stopped the slavery and united the country after the civil war, can be proud of the efforts he and his proponents made some 150 years ago.