Carmelo Anthony Gets Political at the ESPYs

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Carmelo Anthony in 2011. Photo by
Carmelo Anthony in 2011. Photo by David Shankbone

Knicks forward and Towson Catholic alumnus Carmelo Anthony opened the ESPY Awards by addressing “the realities of the current state of America.”“Good evening,” Anthony began, standing with Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James “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, the four of us talking to our fellow athletes with the country watching because we cannot ignore the realities of the current state of America.

“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. The problems are not new. The violence is not new. And the racial divide definitely is not new. But the urgency to create change is at an all-time high.”

Anthony’s colleagues took their turns at the microphone, articulating a multi-pronged call for an end to violence. Wade demanded an end to racial profiling and “the shoot-to-kill mentality” as well as an end to “the endless gun violence in places like Chicago, Dallas, not to mention Orlando.”

James called for “all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence.”

It’s not surprising that Anthony would speak up about these issues. As the Baltimore Sun pointed out, he took to Instagram with a plea to professional athletes to help effect change and “steer our anger in the right direction” following the shooting of 11 police officers in Dallas at a Black Lives Matter protest.

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