CLEVELAND, Ohio- Plans to rename a portion of Cedar Avenue Don King Way after the famous boxing promoter, who was born and raised in the city have been halted for further review by Cleveland City Council.
Long before King became famous internationally for his huge sporting events and trademark hair, he ran a gambling operation and in 1966 he stomped a man to death on Cedar because he owed him $600.
King served 4 years in prison on a reduced charge of non-negligent manslaughter and was eventually pardoned.
He turned his life around and ever since has given back to Cleveland and donated millions of dollars to charities, but the situation still makes many people uncomfortable.
“I mean if he hadn’t done anything good, it’d be an easy answer,” said Adrian Roberts, “but still the guy died.”
Several council members were also uncomfortable with the decision. Council President Kevin Kelley put the issue on hold and says it will be reconsidered at a finance committee meeting Monday September 19th.
Originally, a section of Shaker Boulevard near E. 116th was proposed for the honorary designation; which some say is more appropriate.
It would be a stretch of road between E.116th and E.121st, located near the historic Call & Post Newspaper; an African-American paper which was started in the 1920's and nearly went bankrupt until King purchased it.
“He has gone on to do great things not only here but around the world,” said Councilman Zack Reed.
Reed is currently working on building a new football field and sports center with grant money from the Cleveland Browns at John Adams High School and dedicating the complex to King.
“To say thank you, for all young people who believe you can make mistakes and do great things in the future,” said Reed.
Reed, Kelley and others say they still support naming a street after King; just not Cedar Ave.