LOS ANGELES (AP) – LeBron James received the President’s Award for public service at the 52nd NAACP Image Awards, which highlighted works by entertainers and color writers.
After accepting the award on Saturday night, James thanked the NAACP for recognizing his efforts off the basketball court.
“This award is so much more than me,” he said. “I’m here to get it, but that plunges into everything I’m a part of.”
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar has been recognized for his efforts through his LeBron James Family Foundation and I PROMISE School, a joint educational initiative. Last year he started More Than a Vote – a coalition of black athletes and artists – dedicated to educating and protecting black voters.
James ventured into the entertainment industry with The SpringHill Company, which brings together three companies he co-founded with Maverick Carter, including the UNINTERRUPTED brand, film and television production company SpringHill Entertainment, and brand and cultural consultancy The Robot Company.
During his speech, James said he wished he could have accepted the award on his feet. But he was unable to do so on the doctor’s orders after sprained his right ankle in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks last week. He was expelled indefinitely.
“I wish I could run for this award, but the doctors told me I had to take the weight off my ankle. I appreciate all the good wishes and thoughts about my injury. I’ll be back soon.”
The awards ceremony honoring entertainers and color writers was practically broadcast live on BET. It was also simulated on CBS, MTV, VH1, MTV2, BET HER and LOGO.
“Black-ish” star and comedian Anthony Anderson hosted the show for the eighth year in a row.
The late Chadwick Boseman was named Best Actor in a Film for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The actor, who also starred in the blockbuster Marvel film “Black Panther”, died last year at the age of 43 after fighting colon cancer privately.
“As always, he would give all the honor and honor to the highest God,” said Simone Ledward Boseman with tears in her eyes, the actor’s wife, who accepted the award on his behalf. “He would thank his mother and father. And he would honor his ancestors as we honor him now. Thank you NAACP for giving him his flowers. He was an unusual artist and an even more unusual person. “
Boseman talked about how often black colon cancer was diagnosed or died from black colon cancer. She urged black people over 45 to be examined.
“Don’t postpone it any longer,” she said. “Please, let yourself be examined. This disease is beatable if you get it at an early stage. So you have no time to waste even if you don’t have a family history. If you think nothing is wrong and you are younger than 45, please be proactive about your health. Know the signs. Know your body. Listen to your body. “
Michelle Obama presented Stacey Abrams with the first Social Justice Impact Award. Abrams was recognized for her political endeavors and suffrage work that helped turn Georgia into a swing state.
The former first lady said, Abrams’ “Courage is contagious, her approach is inclusive, and her eyes are on the mountaintop that has always brought out the best in us.”
After Obama called her “unstoppable,” Abrams accepted the award at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. She said her upbringing from her parents helped steer her in the right direction.
“You taught me and my five siblings that there is no excuse to do nothing when you have nothing,” she said. “Instead, they showed themselves through word and deed. To use our faith as a shield to protect the defenseless. Using our voices to declare injustice. And to use our education and free time to solve the problems that others turn away from. “
Viola Davis took home the best actress for her film and television roles in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and How to Get Away with Murder.
“Bridgerton” star Regé-Jean Page let out a scream of surprise after learning that he had won best actor in a drama series for his role on the Netflix series.
Jazmine Sullivan gave the first performance of the awards ceremony. She wore a light blue shag dress when she performed “Pick Up Your Feelings”.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any way without permission.