Wednesday’s telecast of the ESPYs became the latest forum for athletes to express their concern at the recent violence that has roiled the country. Right at the start of the annual sports-awards show, four NBA superstars — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul — took the stage to issue “a call to action” to their fellow athletes, encouraging them to do more to help effect positive change.
Anthony spoke first, which might not have been by coincidence, considering he has been among the more prominent athletes to make his voice heard following the much-publicized killings last week of two black men by police and the subsequent gunning down of five officers during a protest in Dallas. The Knicks forward had previously posted an impassioned message to his Instagram account and written an essay that was published by the Guardian earlier Wednesday.
“In this moment of celebration, we have to start the show tonight this way: The four of us are talking to our fellow athletes, with the country watching, because we cannot ignore the realities of the current state of America,” Anthony told the audience of sports luminaries and others at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. “The events of the past week have put a spotlight on the injustice, distrust and anger that plague so many of us.
“The system is broken,” Anthony continued. “The problems are not new, the violence is not new and the racial divide definitely is not new. But the urgency to great change is at an all-time high.”
SOURCE: Des Bieler
The Washington Post