Le'Veon Bell references Martin Luther King Jr. on being 'free at last' from Steelers

Le’Veon Bell’s days as a Pittsburgh Steeler are over.

General manager Kevin Colbert told reporters on Wednesday that the team will not use the franchise tag or a transition tag on the star running back, freeing Bell up to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13. 

Lengthy contract dispute comes to an end

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The move ends a saga that saw Bell sit out the entirety of last season under the franchise tag as he sought long-term guaranteed money. Now he’ll have a chance to get that contract elsewhere.

Le’Veon Bell chose to celebrate the end of his contract dispute with the Steelers by citing Martin Luther King Jr. (Getty)
Le’Veon Bell chose to celebrate the end of his contract dispute with the Steelers by citing Martin Luther King Jr. (Getty)

Bell recalls MLK’s ‘I Have a Dream” speech

Bell responded to the news of his impending free agency Wednesday afternoon on Twitter by quoting civil rights titan Martin Luther King Jr. from his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.


Bell citing a spiritual and watershed moment in civil rights and American history to celebrate his contract situation was … interesting.

Maybe comparing his contract struggle that involved breaks for jet ski excursions to the struggles of the civil rights movement was not his intent, but he opened himself up to criticism by recalling King’s powerful closing line from his speech during the 1963 March on Washington.

As is often the case with social media, there doesn’t seem to have been a great deal of thought put into this tweet. Or maybe we got it all wrong on Bell, and he has a jagged sense of humor about himself and where his struggle compares, particularly in this Black History Month.

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