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NBA Superstars Open ESPYS With Speech Calling For Social Change

NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul took the floor to open the ESPY Awards last night (July 13). Calling on the need for change in society.

NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul took the floor to open the ESPY Awards Wednesday night (July 13). Calling on the need for change in society, the famed athletes pleaded for the violence to stop. They urged fellow athletes to use their platform to invoke a societal facelift in wake of the recent incidents.

The speeches were not industry driven, reportedly the ballers spoke to the network about the opportunity to open up the show with this much needed message.

Earlier this week, Carmelo took to Instagram to call on his fellow athletes to not be afraid to speak up about political issues. "We have to step up and take charge. We can't worry about what endorsements we gonna lose or whose going to look at us crazy. I need your voices to be heard. We can demand change. We just have to be willing to."

First off let me start off by saying " All Praise Due To The Most High." Secondly, I'm all about rallying, protesting, fighting for OUR people. Look I'll even lead the charge, By Any Means Necessary. We have to be smart about what we are doing though. We need to steer our anger in the right direction. The system is Broken. Point blank period. It has been this way forever. Martin Luther King marched. Malcolm X rebelled. Muhammad Ali literally fought for US. Our anger should be towards the system. If the system doesn't change we will continue to turn on the TVs and see the same thing. We have to put the pressure on the people in charge in order to get this thing we call JUSTICE right. A march doesn't work. We tried that. I've tried that. A couple social media post/tweet doesn't work. We've all tried that. That didn't work. Shooting 11 cops and killing 5 WILL NOT work. While I don't have a solution, and I'm pretty sure a lot of people don't have a solution, we need to come together more than anything at this time. We need each other. These politicians have to step up and fight for change. I'm calling for all my fellow ATHLETES to step up and take charge. Go to your local officials, leaders, congressman, assemblymen/assemblywoman and demand change. There's NO more sitting back and being afraid of tackling and addressing political issues anymore. Those days are long gone. We have to step up and take charge. We can't worry about what endorsements we gonna lose or whose going to look at us crazy. I need your voices to be heard. We can demand change. We just have to be willing to. THE TIME IS NOW. IM all in. Take Charge. Take Action. DEMAND CHANGE. Peace7 #StayMe7o

A photo posted by @carmeloanthony on

Chris Paul, who is the nephew of a police officer, spoke about the prior instances over the past few years where an African-American was killed by the police. CP3 also talked about how other athletes in the past set a model on what to stand for, leading this group to walk in their footsteps.

Dwyane Wade pleaded that the violence needs to stop, and the shoot-to-kill mentality in this country needs to come to an end. "Enough is enough" he said, focusing on the racial profiling angle. The conversation must keep going.

LeBron James also used the moment to call on other athletes to look in the mirror and take the challenge to help create change in their community. On a night where Muhammad Ali would be honored, the NBA all-stars took a stand to do his legacy justice. "We all have to do better" the 3-time champion pleaded.

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Jermaine Dupri Says Jay-Z Didn't Advise Him To Turn Down NFL Deal

After Bryan-Michael Cox and DJ Funkmaster Flex made separate claims that Jay-Z advised Jermaine Dupri to turn down a deal with the NFL, the record producer, songwriter, and rapper sat down with Big Tigger on Atlanta's V103 Wednesday (Aug. 21) to deny the claims.

Dupri said his deal with the league was to "curate a series of free shows held at Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park" and the event would happen before the Super Bowl. In 2018, the rapper took to his Instagram with the official post.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Jan 26th lets go!!!!! @atlsuperbowl53

A post shared by Jermaine Dupri (@jermainedupri) on Oct 26, 2018 at 8:20am PDT

"He and I never had a conversation where he told me 'don't do what you're doing," the So So Def producer said. "What our conversation was, 'You know what side I'm on, I understand what you're doing.' That's what the conversation was."

Here's a quick timeline of the alleged rumors:

Cox joined a Twitter live stream with LoolaTV on Wednesday (Aug. 14) to make the claim that Jay-Z advised Dupri to turn down an NFL partnership. "We're also talking about a guy who single-handedly picked up the phone and called Jermaine to tell him not to do it ... not even a year ago."

I'm Live via https://t.co/KJikcZcXvl @LoolaTv https://t.co/8UBOZkVKnS

— Bryan-Michael Cox (@bryanmichaelcox) August 14, 2019

Hot 97 DJ Funkmaster Flex posted on Monday (Aug. 19) to confirm Cox's story:

I JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH JERMAINE DUPRI... HE CONFIRMED THAT WHEN HE WAS WORKING WITH THE NFL LAST YEAR HE DID GET A CALL FROM JAYZ ASKING HIM.. “HOW DEEP ARE U IN WITH THE NFL?” EXPRESSING... “THAT MIGHT NOT BE A GOOD IDEA”

FUNKFLEX

— Funk Flex !!!!! (@funkflex) August 19, 2019

 

Watch Dupri's full interview below.

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Kawhi Leonard Donates One Million Backpacks To Students In Los Angeles

Kawhi Leonard partnered with the L.A. Clippers and Baby2Baby, to give away one million backpacks to students in multiple school districts around Los Angeles. The charitable undertaking, announced Tuesday (Aug. 20), is the largest in Los Angeles Unified School District history and is aimed at reducing some of the finical stress faced by low-income families during the school year, NBA.com reports.

“My goal this year is to make a meaningful contribution both on and off the court,” said Leonard who is a native of Morenoa Valley, California and recently joined the Clippers after winning a championship with the Toronto Raptors. “This felt like the right way to get started. It was important to me to make this announcement in my hometown of Moreno Valley at my former Elementary School, but the benefits this program will have across all of Los Angeles makes today even more special.”

The backpacks will be donated to every student in Moreno Valley Unified, Inglewood Unified and Los Angeles Unified School districts.

In 2018, approximately 80% of LAUSD's K-12 students came from low income families, were homeless, or in foster care. Over the last eight years, Baby2Baby has dispersed more than 70 million basic necessities to children at underserved schools, homeless shelters, foster care, hospital and those affected by natural disasters.

“There are a lot of families throughout the L.A. region working hard every day to earn everything in their lives. This program is our effort to extend a hand to make heading back to school a little easier,” added Gillian Zucker, President of Business Operations for the Clippers. “Our deepest appreciation goes out to Kawhi Leonard and Baby2Baby’s incredible network of ambassadors who walk the walk when it comes to using their platforms and voices to provide real solutions to impact the everyday lives of the people around us.”

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Stephen Curry To Sponsor Golf Team At Howard University

While the regular NBA season is on vacation until the late fall, Stephen Curry is still keeping his mindset in sports mode with this latest news. According to The Washington Post, the three-time NBA champion announced a sponsorship that’ll establish a Division I golf team at Howard University. It’s the first of its kind for the HBCU.

“It’s a big opportunity for us to expose students to a game that oftentimes is played as business deals are decided and a game that generations of families can play together,” the Washington, D.C.-based university's President Wayne A.I. Frederick said. There will be a men’s and women’s golf team, which was partly inspired by a conversation Curry had with a student during the screening of Emanuel at the university in January. “To hear somebody as passionate about the game as I was, all the while still pursuing their education at Howard…impacted me,” Curry said.

The father-of-three established an endowed fund that’ll allocate a seven-figure contribution to preserving the golf teams. The donation will be spread out over six years. “No matter where you come from or what socioeconomic background you had, we all were that kid once upon a time that was just excited about finding out who they were as a person through athletics,” Curry said.

Students recruited for the team will also have to complete a volunteer program with Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. foundation. The golf team’s formation can span a year from enlisting a coach to filling its roster. Washington D.C.’s Langston Golf Course, which is known as the city's historically black-owned golf course, might serve as practice grounds for the student-athletes.

“I was blessed at a young age that we could afford to play,” Curry said. “I just think about how many kids, especially from underserved communities, have the talent to play but just don’t have the funds or the resources.” Howard University's administration believe the school's Division II golf team ended its run in the 1970s.

[email protected] is here and we are ready for the #HowardUGolf festivities. With his support, today we kick off the first-ever NCAA Division 1 Men’s and Women’s Golf Program at a Howard University. @HowardAD_KD @HUPrez17 pic.twitter.com/2FN8ZLZ7cQ

— Howard University (@HowardU) August 19, 2019

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