The Memphis Grizzlies are set to play the Los Angeles Lakers today in a national televised game. The Grind House will be full of Grizzlies fans in support of the hometeam. Our beloved Grizzlies will also debut the ‘MLK50’ jerseys will be worn for the first time.
The uniforms are worn in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. MLK50 City Edition uniforms will support the National Civil Rights Museum’s remembrance of the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination.
The black and white uniform is inspired by the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers strike and their “I Am A Man” slogan. The “MEMPHIS” across the chest is directly inspired by the iconic type of the “I Am A Man” signs.
The story behind the uniform’s design dates back to February 1, 1968, when two Memphis Sanitation workers, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, were crushed to death by a malfunctioning garbage truck. This tragic flashpoint aggravated by years of dangerous working conditions, poverty level wages, and unequal treatment led black sanitation workers to strike. Their demand for human dignity would coin the slogan ‘I Am A Man’ and eventually bring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis weeks later to march alongside protestors. It was on that trip that Dr. King was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel on April 4, 1968.
The color base was chosen to represent the protest signs directly but also remind us of the dignity being fought for and the suits many of the marchers donned.
The “MEMPHIS” wordmark across the chest is directly inspired by the iconic type of the ‘I Am A Man’ signs, from typeface to the underline accent, used in Memphis during the 1968 strike and protests.
The panel design uses the wordmark angles and lines to form a tall and bold ‘M’ inspired by the typeface used in the word ‘Man’ on the signs while nodding back to Memphis itself.
As we approach the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, we are humbled to shed light on the events leading up to the tragic day itself through the introduction and wearing of our MLK50 City Edition uniform. Alongside our longstanding partners at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, we want to generate local, national and global awareness of the Museum’s vital message of social and economic justice and call to reflection, ‘where do we go from here.’
In the coming days and weeks, we will announce further plans and events scheduled in conjunction with the Museum around our annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration weekend.
— Grizzlies President of Business Operations, Jason Wexler
Tune in to catch the boys in action and to check out these awesome uniforms.
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Disclaimer: This is NOT an Xclusive Memphis event.
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