Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. may not have been an athlete, but he understood the importance of sports.

When the first African American to play Major League Baseball, Jackie Robinson began to speak out about civil rights, he was worried about how it may tarnish his life.

However, it was Dr. King who encouraged Robinson, saying he was a Freedom Rider before freedom rides.

Dr. King also embraced Muhammad Ali, who at that time went by Cassius Clay.

Let's not forget about the track stars who wanted to boycott the Olympics in 1968.

Again it was Dr. King who offered his unwavering support not just for the Olympics, but every single sport.

His legacy still lives today.

You could see it in the NBA paying tribute during Monday's games, and in a number of other ways on the day that just so happened to be his actual birthday.

So when you see athletes on the court, the field, the ice, and even on the streets, they're allowed to play the game they love because of what took place down the street.

It was Dr. King's famous 'I Have A Dream Speech'.

Dr. King was about nothing but peace, diversity, passion, and compassion.

If it wasn't for him, even my sportscast would just be silent.