LeBron James has a new accolade to squeeze into his trophy case. Today, the NAACP named the Lakers player as this year’s recipient of its President’s Award, which honors special achievement and distinguished public service. (Past honorees include Soledad O’Brien, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Muhammad Ali — and music moguls like Lauryn Hill, Rihanna and Jay Z.)
James will accept the honor onscreen during the live awards ceremony, airing on BET on March 27 at 8 p.m. ET.
“LeBron James is one of the greatest athletes of his generation, and through his work both on and off the court, has transcended beyond sports to become a cultural icon,” said NAACP president and chief executive officer Derrick Johnson in a statement revealing the honor. “This is nowhere more evident than over the past year, where LeBron has used his platform to speak out on issues that were directly affecting the Black community including voting initiatives, police brutality, and racial inequality. LeBron epitomizes the type of leadership, sportsmanship, and commitment to social justice that we seek to highlight with our President’s Award.”
The NAACP Image Awards honor people of color working in the entertainment industry, including film, television, music, comedy and literature, and celebrate social justice initiatives.
The show will include performances and appearances by artists including Maxwell and Jazmine Sullivan, Andra Day, Alicia Keys, Cynthia Erivo, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Swizz Beatz, Misty Copeland and Michelle Obama. Six-time NAACP Image Award winner (and “To Tell the Truth” host) Anthony Anderson will host the televised ceremony.
Several rounds of award winners have already been revealed in the days leading up to the live show. Overall, Netflix took the most nominations — 51 in total — for its film and TV releases. In the music realm, nominees closely mirrored the Grammys, with Beyoncé and H.E.R. each picking up several nominations. A list of NAACP Image Award nominees can be found here.
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