NBA Superstars Open ESPYS With Speech Calling For Social Change

Sports

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.

Read: Chance The Rapper Honors Muhammad Ali In Chilling Tribute At The 2016 ESPYS

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

Read: Carmelo Anthony Prompts Fellow Athletes To “Step Up And Take Charge”

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.