Atlanta Hawks reveal MLK City Edition jerseys honoring civil rights leader

Oct 4, 2020, 7:10 PM
The Atlanta Hawks new City Edition jerseys honor Martin Luther King Jr. (Twitter photo via @ATLHawk...
The Atlanta Hawks new City Edition jerseys honor Martin Luther King Jr. (Twitter photo via @ATLHawks)
(Twitter photo via @ATLHawks)

The 2020-21 Atlanta Hawks’ City Edition jerseys will honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., the team announced Sunday.

King was born in Atlanta and attended Morehouse College, situated in the same city.

In place of the city or team name, the letters MLK will be emblazoned on the front of the jersey top. Profits from jersey sales will be donated to programs in the Atlanta community that focus on economic empowerment for communities of color.

The team has been planning and preparing these jerseys for three years, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

The City Edition is black with the MLK lettering in white with the borders golden. Those two colors highlight the black background around the jersey.

Much of the jersey’s look is inspired by the church, where King often preached, according to the AJC. There is a crown-and-shield symbol on the shorts that was inspired by the stained-glass window at King’s home church, according to a graphic provided to AJC by the Hawks.

The color scheme represents King’s determination, style, and the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity of which he was part.

There are 22 stars along the side, which represent 22 of the 29 times King was jailed, honors student Freedom Fighters and is a nod to his quote “Only when it is dark enough can you see the stars,” according to the AJC.

King’s signature is also printed onto the jersey.

While the concept for this jersey was thought of years ago, the video posted to Twitter referenced the current civil rights movement that began in earnest this summer.

“This is not just a uniform. This is a commitment. A commitment to work. To march. To give back,” the voice-over on the video said. “A commitment to earn these letters.”

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Atlanta Hawks reveal MLK City Edition jerseys honoring civil rights leader