Bradley, Alexander Talk MLK's Influence

alexander-vs-bradleyDETROIT—In honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day national holiday on Monday, we asked Devon Alexander and Timothy Bradley—two young, undefeated American world champion boxers who will meet in a title unification match on Jan. 29 at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich. (HBO: 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT)—for their thoughts on Dr. King, and the influence he had upon them.

Devon Alexander: “Martin Luther King was legendary.  Without him, I don’t believe things would be like they are today.  We might still be struggling for basic equality.  He was a major figure in the black community.  He taught non-violence and tried to make peace between people.  No drama.  He just wanted to bring people together.  All Americans should be proud of who he was and what he stood for.  It made him a world figure, a historical figure.

“His influence on me in particular is that I remember him telling black people to be proud and not to be ashamed of who you are.  It sounds simple, and it is, but it’s also very important.  He always said everybody should be treated equally.  I like all races and people and believe in equality.  No man should get better treatment simply based on their race or color, and I think Dr. King taught me that in the words he wrote, the way he spoke and the way he led people.

“He was a great leader for all Americans.  He wanted all children to be able to go to school and not be discriminated against.  He did not believe in segregation. Dr. King was a hero to us all, and he will never be forgotten.  I have the opportunity every day to go out and achieve whatever I want to, and it is because of him that I get that chance.”

Timothy Bradley: “Martin Luther King was a realist, a man who had a dream to stop slavery and give all people equal freedom. He stood by his beliefs.  He was a warrior with a warrior mentality. He did not take ‘no’ for an answer and because of his determination, he was unfortunately taken from the people that he freed.

“Due to what he accomplished, I have had opportunities that I might not otherwise have had today, and I am grateful for the freedom that he not only gave me but all the other African Americans living in this United States of America today.

“My family and I celebrate Martin Luther King Day all the way through February by joining together with the community at certain celebrations to honor black history month.  It is our distinct pleasure and honor to be there in remembrance of one of the greater leaders in our time, Dr. Martin Luther King.”

Comment on this article


-Radam G :

Wow, wee, wee, tock! I was just getting ready to hit the pit! Then this copy pops up. I don't want anyone to get the impression that I'm picking at Timothy Bradley. But he should stick to boxing comments, since he says that he is "old school" in that. He slips by the tongue in a lot of other subjects. Since Martin Luther King was a man of all the people, I must holla at Timmy. C'mon! Maybe you have Fredrick Douglass mixed up with Dr. MLK Jr. A hundred years before Dr. MLK Jr, Douglass was the dreamer of halting "slavery and [giving] all people equal [rights, opportunites and] freedom. He was a confidant of President Abe Lincoln, and a friend and admire of Pinoy national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Whatever a "realist" is, Dr. MLk Jr was not that. He was an ACTIVIST AND ADVOCATE who believed that he could "make a way out of no way" and knock down and out the at-that-time realness of legal bigotry and racism. [He waved so-called "realist(s)" out of his face.] He struggled to bring down the evilness of "interposition and nullification." Shame on Team Bradley! That team is letting Timmy use catchwords to make a man of great PEACE look like a warring, gun-ho crusader. [For the record, Dr. MLK Jr was Gandhi-like. He applied Gandhi's philosophy of peaceful change and passive resistance.] Team Bradley has let the media make TB look as a stereotypical dumb-arse boxer. When the large percentage of boxers have always been well-read and/or educated [self-educated and/or educated by the best schools]. WTPP! Jews, Blacks, Whites, Latins, Pinoys, other Asians and poetic justice marched with Dr. MLK Jr. Unless "no" means delay, Dr. MLK Jr clearly understood when a "no" was needed. Somebody ought teach Timmy the distinction between "no" and delay. Timmy's words of Dr. MLK Jr being "taken from the people that he freed" is spot on poetic. DR. MLK Jr freed the oppressors from having to oppress and be in self denial about it, and the oppressed from believing that they were destined to take oppression because of some godly powers. Holla!