Aside from dealing with the troubles of an album being leaked way ahead of schedule, rapper Jay-Z has taken some time to pay homage and commemorate some of those that have left a mark in history. Along with the benefit concert taking place on September 11, Jay has decided to design a shirt that will pay respect to Arthur Ashe.
For those unaware of Ashe, he was a renowned African American tennis player whose resume included winning three Grand Slam titles and giving him the honor of being one of the best players in the country. Outside of the court, Ashe was also a Civil Rights supporter as he was a member of a delegation of 31 African-Americans who took a trip to South Africa to observe political change as it made an attempt to have racial integration. Complications from AIDS took the life of Ashe on February 6, 1993 after a blood transfusion.
Jay will be customizing a Rocawear Arthur Ashe shirt which will be sold during the U.S. Open in New York this year. It will mark the 40th anniversary of the National Junior Tennis and Learning Network, which was co-founded by Ashe in 1969. The proceeds will be given to Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of AIDS.
Ashe’s widow, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, says she is “thrilled that someone of Jay-Z’s stature would take part in this project.”
On September 10, Ashe will be honored again as he will be inducted into the U.S. Open Court of Champions. The U.S. Open started August 31 and will stretch out through September 13 in Flushing, New York.