Since news of his passing late Friday night, LGBT Sports Twitter has been filled with tributes to the late great Rep. John Lewis. The civil rights leader died on Friday, following a seven-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80.
Lewis was one of the longest-serving members of the House of Representatives, but he was so much more than that. The son of sharecroppers and the great grandson of slaves, Lewis was a fierce advocate for nonviolent protest and a champion for equality. His peers called him the conscience of Congress. He was the last surviving speaker at the 1963 March on Washington.
Two years later, he led 600 people on a march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to Selma, Alabama, where white National Guardsmen and police beat him and many others bloody. That day was forever known from that point forward as Bloody Sunday.
The assault on their peaceful demonstration was carried live on television, and historians believe that this display was a turning point in public perception of their pursuit for equal opportunity and racial equality.
Here’s just a sampling of the tweeted tributes from across the spectrum of LGBT sports.
“When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something, do something.”@repjohnlewis was an American treasure and a civil rights & equality champion. There will never be another.
His legacy will live forever.
Rest in power. pic.twitter.com/xjyaOrk5cn
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) July 18, 2020
Rest in Power. @repjohnlewis “When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something. To do something. Our children and their children will ask us, ‘What did you do? What did you say?’ “. #goodtrouble pic.twitter.com/eMkTSro6Mo
— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) July 18, 2020
What a remarkable life John Lewis led, he literally changed the world. #JohnLewis
When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something,” https://t.co/00xEyoQFN1
— Anthony Nicodemo ️ (@coachNicodemo) July 18, 2020
“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in #goodtrouble, necessary trouble.” #ripjohnlewis pic.twitter.com/82YJKMRKFp
— Eric Lueshen (@EricLueshen) July 18, 2020
There were also tweets from famous names beyond the LGBTQ community.
The former president also reminded us Lewis was the 2nd civil rights icon we lost Friday:
Some thoughts on the Reverend C.T. Vivian, a pioneer who pulled America closer to our founding ideals and a friend who I will miss greatly. pic.twitter.com/kDsGhU2BF4
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 17, 2020
Other presidents weighed-in, too, both Democrat…
Hillary and I were blessed by his friendship, support and wise counsel. We’ll miss him so much, but we’ll always be grateful that he lived to see a new generation of Americans take to the streets in search of his long sought “beloved community.” https://t.co/gKDuLmUMLQ
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) July 18, 2020
UPDATE: Just after this story was published, President Trump had this to say about the passing of Rep. Lewis:
Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing. Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2020
Earlier, there was this proclamation from The White House, that the U.S. flag shall be flown at half-staff, but only for one day.
The flag shall be flown at half-staff as a mark of respect for the memory and longstanding public service of Representative John Lewis. https://t.co/Z1xKO2M0F7
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 18, 2020
And here are a few more from the world of sports:
One of the highlights of my career. Thank you for showing the world how to raise “good trouble” and fight for civil rights. Rest in power John Lewis. pic.twitter.com/cjZ5QRBgpS
— Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) July 18, 2020
How incredible is this photo, shared by legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?
One of the greatest leaders out community has had!! We appreciate everything you’ve fought for and we will continue that fight!! Rest in Power Mr. Lewis!!! ✊ ✊ ✊ https://t.co/PHfHuiWzp6
— Garrett Temple (@GTemp17) July 18, 2020
Thank you John Lewis. You leave us all a life of legacy. We honor you in life and in death. May your soul rest in perfect peace…God you got a great one!
— dawnstaley (@dawnstaley) July 18, 2020
Rest easy John Lewis. Your legacy lives on as we continue to fight the good fight.
— Tobias Harris (@tobias31) July 18, 2020
My heart is just so heavy but we must continue to stand and endure! 2020 emotionally has been more than ones heart and mind can accept at times. But when I think about what so many before us endured, I know we’ll continue forward ✊ #goodtrouble #BeTheChange
— Swin Cash (@SwinCash) July 18, 2020
“I have been in some kind of fight — for freedom, equality, basic human rights — for nearly my entire life.” — John Lewis