The NBA goes all out for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In addition to several mentions of the holiday by broadcasters, last night's nationally televised Celtics-Mavs game, for example, featured several King-related PSAs and a "Remembering MLK" graphic above the score at all times. These tributes, though, tend to be vague, referring generically to King's "legacy" rather than his accomplishments, views, or practical meaning to modern race relations. Is the generically uplifting tone of these NBA King tributes: (1) a de-politicizing of an intensely political figure by a capitalist conglomerate that seeks to to use his popularity to burnish its own racially complicated image, or (2) a good-faith effort by the heads of an industry with a predominately African-American workforce to recognize an important African-American historical figure who demonstrated traits like courage and determination that we can all admire regardless of our contemporary political differences? Please discuss in the comments, making sure to mention Hitler and the socialization of health care as many times as possible.
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