The increase of fatal killings in the U.S. has sparked many celebrities to speak out against violence. So when four of the biggest sports stars took the stage at the ESPYS’s to deliver a powerful message to end the hatred between police and black’s, people had no choice, but to listen.
The speech rendered the ears of its listeners as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade addressed the issues.
Paul, Los Angeles Clippers’ star point guard said, “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.” He continued, “So we choose to follow in their footsteps.”
“The system is broken, the problems are not new, the violence is not new, and the racial divide is not new, but the urgency for change is definitely at an all-time high,” said Anthony, star of the New York Knicks
Wade, who recently signed a deal with his hometown Bulls in Chicago, added, “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.”
James closed the speech saying, “Tonight we’re honoring Muhammad Ali, the GOAT (greatest of all time).” He continued to say, “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.”