On Friday, U.S. Congressman John Lewis passed away at the age of 80 after a six-month battle with cancer. This afternoon, John Calipari posted a tribute to Lewis, a civil rights leader who was one of the original Freedom Riders and spent more than three decades representing Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, during which he earned the nickname “The Conscience of the Congress.”
From Calipari’s Facebook page:
I never had the pleasure of meeting Congressman John Lewis, but his life was one I have admired since I first saw images of him on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. To know how young he was at the time & that he then spent a lifetime committing to do what is right should resonate with us all.
Congressman Lewis was persistently courageous, sustaining his beliefs through a lifetime of being told no, to being ignored and to being delayed!! That amazes me but I especially love what he said about getting in “good trouble” and the notion of “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”
I always come back to this: Could I have been the coach who wasn’t afraid to have five African-American starters in the 60s and 70s? There’s a difference in doing it in the 30 years I’ve been coaching and the 30 years before. That took courage and that’s why I admire Dean Smith and C.M. Newton.
Coach Smith and Coach Newton were trailblazers for our sport.
Congressman Lewis was a trailblazer for us all.
RIP, Congressman. Thank you for your service to this country.
Tributes to Lewis have been everywhere over the past few days, but I encourage you to watch this one from CBS Sunday Morning.
This cartoon by Marc Murphy is also wonderful:
— Marc Murphy (@MurphyCartoons) July 18, 2020