hotnewhiphop:: The 2016 ESPY Awards kicked off tonight with a powerful speech delivered by LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul which addressed the recent killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and 5 Dallas police officers.
The four NBA superstars used tonight’s platform to promote social change and urge their fellow athletes to be socially active in inspiring change within our country.
Carmelo Anthony echoed the statements he made in a recent instagram post, while Chris Paul recalled former athletes that made a social impact through sports.
“The system is broken, the problems are not new, the violence is not new, and the racial divide definitely is not new, but the urgency for change is definitely at an all-time high,” said Carmelo Anthony.
“Generations ago, legends like Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, John Carlos and Tommie Smith, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown, Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe and countless others, they set a model for what athletes should stand for,” said Paul, the Los Angeles Clippers‘ star point guard. “So we choose to follow in their footsteps.”
Wade and James added the following, respectively:
“The racial profiling has to stop. The shoot-to-kill mentality has to stop. Not seeing the value of black and brown bodies has to stop. But also the retaliation has to stop. The endless gun violence in places like Chicago, Dallas, not to mention Orlando, it has to stop. Enough. Enough is enough.”
“Tonight we’re honoring Muhammad Ali, the GOAT (greatest of all time),” he said. “But to do his legacy any justice, let’s use this moment as a call to action to all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence and, most importantly, go back to our communities, invest our time, our resources, help rebuild them, help strengthen them, help change them. We all have to do better.”