On Wednesday night to open the 2016 ESPYS, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony opened the show with a message to the audience and other professional athletes.
The three minute speech – which each guy wrote their contribution and actually pitched the open to the network – asked other athletes to take a stand for the #BlackLivesMatter movement and become more involved in the communities they came from.
Carmelo Anthony said, “the urgency to create change is at an all-time high. 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 for change is definitely at an all-time high,”
DWaded 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.”
“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,” said Paul, the Los Angeles Clippers’ star point guard. “So we choose to follow in their footsteps.”