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LeBron James.

LeBron James says Muhammad Ali was a pioneer for African-Americans in the States

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Muhammad Ali's death has sent the world into a state of mourning as we remember one of the greatest sports stars to grace the planet.

However, his achievements inside the ropes were only the tip of the iceberg for the former Heavyweight champion. His dedication and passion to social justice was admirable and empowered millions of people worldwide.

Amid all of the people paying respect to Ali, who passed away at the age of 74 in a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, LeBron James has given his thoughts as he prepares for game two of the NBA Finals.

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He said: “When I was a kid I was amazed by what Ali did in the ring. As I got older and started to read about him and watch things about him I started to realise what he did in the ring was secondary to what he meant outside of the ring—just his influence, what he stood for.”

Ali was truly a legend in every sense of the word and had an impact on so many people from all walks of life. James and a number of African-American sports stars have him to thank for their standing in the 21st century. The former boxer's activism to push equality can't be underestimated, and that point is not missed by the Cleveland Cavaliers star.

Muhammad Ali

He added: "It's what he did outside of the ring, what he believed in, what he stood for, along with Jim Brown and Oscar Robertson, Lew Alcindor -- obviously, who became Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] -- Bill Russell, Jackie Robinson.

"Those guys stood for something. He's part of the reason why African-Americans today can do what we do in the sports world. We're free. They allow us to have access to anything we want. It's because of what they stood for, and Muhammad Ali was definitely the pioneer for that."

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division

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