Despite not playing on Martin Luther King Jr. Day next season, an annual tradition for the last several years, the Memphis Grizzlies are still planning on honoring the civil rights leader in a big way.

Memphis is playing the day before MLK Day and in remembrance of the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, the Grizzlies will play in “MLK50” Pride uniforms on Jan. 15 against the Chicago Bulls.

Sure, the jerseys have sleeves which is usually never a good thing, but all of the little details in the uniform have meaning and relate to Dr. King.

From the Grizzlies:

Black Uniform Color

The black uniform color base was chosen as a sign of respect for the moment, the movement and a reminder of the dignity of Civil Rights marchers who led us forward wearing dark suits.

Memphis Wordmark

The “MEMPHIS” wordmark across the chest showcases the marriage of the historic Lorraine Motel sign on the south side of the building and the Grizzlies’ inline typeface.

Uniform Piping Design

The piping design replicates the railing surrounding the exterior walkways and balconies of the historic hotel and museum.

Sea Foam Color Accents

The sea foam color accents, numbers and piping are pulled directly from the doors at rooms 306 and 307, where Dr. King spent his last moments on April 4, 1968.


The wreath icon on the neckline was designed to represent the wreath that hangs where Dr. King was slain, and placed in the center of the uniform to remind us of his sacrifice and work for social justice and equality.

A very cool tribute by the Grizzlies that almost makes up for the NBA not scheduling Memphis to play on MLK Jr. Day.

Source: CBS Sports / LOOK: Grizzlies will honor Martin Luther King Jr. with tribute uniforms