Joe Murphy/NBE/Getty Images
Grizzlies MLK50 Pride uniform unveiled
Today the Memphis Grizzlies joined forces with the National Civil Rights Museum at the historic Lorraine Motel to publicly unveil the “MLK50” Pride uniforms for the Grizzlies’ 2016-17 season.
The MLK50 Pride uniform will tip-off the National Civil Rights Museum’s upcoming remembrance of the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination and is set to debut on the hardwood at the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration game on January 15 vs. Chicago in a primetime, nationally-televised game on ESPN.
But the story behind the uniform’s design dates back to April 4, 1968, the fateful day of Dr. King’s assassination at the Lorraine Motel.
In collaboration with adidas, and inspired by the storied history of The Lorraine, the uniform’s use of iconic imagery, color and design will bring greater awareness to the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, and drive a deeper understanding of the history behind the ongoing movement forward for social justice that defined Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in life and in death.
We’re deeply honored to work with our longstanding partners at the National Civil Rights Museum to help them launch the commemorations building towards the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination. The MLK50 Pride uniform to be worn for the first time on January 15th during our annual weekend Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration is a means of both furthering our partnership with the National Civil Rights Museum and creating awareness of the Museum’s vital message of social and economic justice in our city, our nation and the world.-- Grizzlies President of Business Operations, Jason Wexler
Black Uniform Color
The black uniform color base was chosen as a sign of respect for the moment, the movement and a reminder of the dignity of Civil Rights marchers who led us forward wearing dark suits.
The “MEMPHIS” wordmark across the chest showcases the marriage of the historic Lorraine Motel sign on the south side of the building and the Grizzlies’ inline typeface.
Uniform Piping Design
The piping design replicates the railing surrounding the exterior walkways and balconies of the historic hotel and museum.
Sea Foam Color Accents
The sea foam color accents, numbers and piping are pulled directly from the doors at rooms 306 and 307, where Dr. King spent his last moments on April 4, 1968.
The wreath icon on the neckline was designed to represent the wreath that hangs where Dr. King was slain, and placed in the center of the uniform to remind us of his sacrifice and work for social justice and equality.
“We are really thrilled to be able to partner with the Grizzlies and Grizzlies Foundation on this project,” said National Civil Rights Museum President Terri Lee Freeman.
When the idea first came about of creating a jersey, I was so excited about it because I could see the potential for something like this. As we created it, we wanted it to have a level of integrity, so we included the wreath and included the railing and the sign. I think it has come out as a wonderful product, and think it will be great for the Grizzlies and the National Civil Rights Museum, but also messaging that we need to always remember what happened and not forget about the work that has yet to be done. That’s exactly what the Museum does.-- National Civil Rights Museum President, Terri Lee Freeman
The uniforms were unveiled at a private event tonight at the National Civil Rights Museum where the Grizzlies hosted a conversation centered on social justice and sports, “A Bridge of Opportunity,” with Grizzlies Head Coach David Fizdale, Forward Vince Carter, Grizzlies Partner J.R. “Pitt” Hyde, and National Civil Rights Museum President Terri Freeman. The event was livestreamed on Grizzlies.com and can be accessed here.
The MLK50 Pride uniform and other inspired adidas gear will be available for purchase in the Grizzlies Den by adidas starting Jan. 1, 2017 to tip-off the Grizzlies’ annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.