As the NBA joins the nation in commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers spoke to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle and shared how much Dr. King and his legacy means to him personally. So much so, that Rivers carries King's memory through a prominent tattoo on his leg:
“Coming from a Caucasian mother and African-American father, nobody else symbolizes everything I’ve gone through, what my family has gone through, what black and white people in general who have been together have been through more than Martin,” Rivers said. “I just thought he was the only person fitting to have tattooed on me other than Jesus.”
Rivers went on to explain why King's message means so much to him, and why it resonates throughout his entire being:
“Everything was someday, someday, someday,” Rivers said. “He knew it was going to be a process. He wanted to change minds. It was the most realistic way to go about it. For someone to have that much patience and to understand it’s not going to be my lifetime but if I can change it for my kids, that’s incredible. He was so much about everybody else and understood it’s going to take time. That’s why so many people gravitate to him. It’s why we have MLK Day.”
MLK Day is not just any other holiday for most, if not all players in the NBA. As Rivers explained so poignantly, the sacrifices King made during his time still benefits society to this day.
Rivers and the Rockets are scheduled to face the Philadelphia 76ers on this season's edition of MLK Day games.