Today, we honor one of our nation’s most influential heroes, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Known as a brave man, he devoted his life to help transform the racial differences in the United States.
He believed each human being should be observed as the same, no matter what the color of their skin was or which gender, race, ethnicity or religion beliefs. He advocated for social change and fought for racial equality. He preached a message of love and tolerance that is still echoed today.
He sacrificed his life by standing up against racism and injustice during one of the most hateful times in our country’s history. He believed the best way to get the nation’s attention and get others to stand with him was by leading non-violent marches across the country and preaching a message of peace. One of his most adored moments was his memorable “I Have a Dream” speech outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. In his speech, he said, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” This quote inspired a nation to re-evaluate their views and take steps towards creating a new status quo, one founded on tolerance and love. His decisions and sacrifices helped show the world that a human is defined by their character, not by their skin color.
As we celebrate the legacy of this hero, remember that while becoming a nation’s hero, he was still focused on being a hero to his family. Although we see Dr. King as a public hero, he still found time to be there for his wife and children while leading others outside his family. Coaches, we know leading a team is very time consuming, which can keep you away from your family. It is imperative to remember that your family is invaluable: a strong support system helps you succeed. We as coaches can take a page out of Dr. King’s book. We know him as the man who broke racial barriers using love and reason, but he was also a family man who understood priorities and balance. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the ultimate coach; he led a country to victory all while keeping true to his values, morals, and being the ultimate leader of his family. As coaches, we must learn balance. Understand that you have two families, and neither should be neglected. It is your job to show your family that being a part of a team instills discipline, as well as showing your team that having a strong support system off the court is just as important.
Although, this nation has seen great progress of fulfilling Dr. King’s dream of equality for all humans, there is still room for improvement. There is still much work to be done. Making sure all our children know their worth and their potential is a part of that, with an intersecting set of challenges. That’s why it is important to keep your family involved, because sometimes coaching has its difficult times, and having that support from your family helps with the healing process.
So, today we remember Martin Luther King, Jr., an admired leader, coach, and family man. It is his message we should continue to practice and teach as coaches and his ability to balance all aspects of his life that we should aim to model.
We thank you, Dr. King!