The Atlanta Hawks will be paying tribute to one of their own, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a commemorative uniform in the 2020-21 NBA season.
Officially designated as a “City” uniform, the MLK jersey will likely only be worn for one season and only peridoically throughout the year. It’s black, gold, and white with Dr. King’s “MLK” initials across the front in a custom font.
At the base of the front of the jersey we see Dr. King’s signature in gold.
While the jersey is fairly straight forward, the shorts feature plenty of symbolism in respects to King’s life and words.
We see gold and white striping on each side forming a peak, this design is meant to replicate the stained glass windows at Ebenezer Baptist in Atlanta, King’s home church. The crown/shield design within the striping is a reference to some of King’s personal artifacts (the team mentioned “tie pins” but I couldn’t find one which resembled this design).
There are also 22 white stars in there, in reference to one of King’s quotes about student freedom fighters who staged sit-ins throughout the south, “only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars”.
The Hawks join the Memphis Grizzlies as teams to honour Dr. King on their uniforms in recent seasons, the Grizzlies wore a black and teal set several years ago which incorporated elements of Memphis’ Lorraine Motel, the site of his assassination in 1968 as well as the current home of the National Civil Rights Museum.