Photo: Jeff Kravitz / Contributor via Getty Images
  /  02.05.2023

The skateboarding community continues to find ways to honor the life of Tyre Nichols. Tony Hawk is one of them, having joined forces with his longtime friend and BMX rider Rick Thorne to help the Nichols family reach their goal of raising $1.5 million for a memorial fund.

At the time of this report, the GoFundMe fundraiser amassed more than 36,000 donations, bringing its total to just over $1.4 million. It was launched last month, on Jan. 27, the same day the Memphis Police Department released an hour’s worth of footage showing various perspectives of the heinous police beating that ultimately led to Nichols’ death.

In a Feb. 3 tweet, Hawk wrote, “Rick Thorne & I have been traveling & doing demos together for over 20 years. And we continue to ride together well into our twilight days. As a tribute to our tenacity, we’re offering a signed photo of us doing doubles before the world turned upside down (and before I got hurt).”

The skateboarding legend followed up by stating, “My proceeds from these will go to the Tyre Nichols Memorial Fund, which includes plans to build a public skatepark in his honor[,] as our worlds continue to grieve his loss. He was a talented skater among other admirable traits. Let’s keep his legacy alive.” The limited-edition signed photos are being sold for $30 on Thorne’s website. Only 1,000 of the high-resolution 8×10 images are available for purchase.

Other efforts to remind the world of Nichols’ love for the sport include NLE Choppa’s plans to organize a charity to raise funds for the 29-year-old’s son. On Feb. 1, the rapper, who hails from Memphis, told TMZ, “Even though he [Nichols] passed away in a negative manner, the positive ripple effect he sent throughout the city for sure touched me.”

On Saturday (Feb. 4), Sacramento Councilwoman Lisa Kaplan announced that Nichols’ hometown will be renaming Regency Community Skate Park in his honor, reported The Sacramento Bee. That specific park was special to the aspiring photographer. Friends and family who gathered there for a memorial service said he began skating there as a child.

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