This is a glorious thing to see. Right in front of our eyes, more and more Black athletes are speaking up about societal conditions such as gun violence in the Black community and police brutality in particular. That was never more evident that tonight at the ESPY Awards where LeBron James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade opened the show with a poignant presentation about dealing with and ending the gun violence in America.
The 2016 ESPY Awards started out with an epic speech from basketball’s biggest stars. LeBron James, 31, Chris Paul, 31, Carmelo Anthony, 32, and Dwyane Wade, 34, stood before the audience and pleaded for us all to take part in ending the violence in America. They have had “enough” of the senseless shootings and violence that have been plaguing our nation.
Wade, James, Anthony and Paul have had enough of the senseless shootings and violence that have been plaguing our nation.
“Tonight is a celebration of sports, celebrating our accomplishments and our victories. But, in this moment of celebration, we have to start the show tonight this way,” said Carmelo Anthony. “We cannot ignore the realities of the current state of America. The events of the last week have put a spotlight on the injustice, distrust and anger that plague so many of us. The system is broken, the problems are not new, the violence is not new, and the racial divide definitely is not new.”
Next was Chris Paul. He acknowledged the recent shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile who were killed at the hands of police.
“We stand here tonight accepting our role in uniting communities,” the Los Angeles Clippers guard said. “We stand before you as fathers, sons, husbands, brothers, uncles, and in my case, as an African-American man and the nephew of a police officer, who is one of the hundreds of thousands of great officers serving this country. But Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile — this is also our reality.”
“The racial profiling has to stop,” said Wade. “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.”
James capped off the speech with a powerful plea to the people of America to take action against the violence.
“Let’s use this moment as a call to action for all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence,” he said. “And most importantly, go back to our communities and invest our time, our resources, help rebuild them, help strengthen them, help change them. We all have to do better.”
Liker we said up top, more and more high paid athletes are speaking out against gun violence and police abuse. Hats off these NBA stars for leading the way.
(Photo Source: AP)