Four NBA stars opened the 2016 ESPY Awards with a powerful speech on #BlackLivesMatter.
LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade collectively gave proclamations on the unprovoked murder of two black men by white police officers last week, as they declared “enough is enough.”
Chris Paul opened the speech as he informed the crowd, “We stand here tonight accepting our role in uniting communities.”
“We stand before you as fathers, sons, husbands, brothers, uncles, and in my case, as an African-American man and the nephew of a police officer, who is one of the hundreds of thousands of great officers serving this country.” He continued.
In conclusion, Paul said, “‘But Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, this is also our reality.”
Dwyane Wade gave his speech which focused on racial profiling as he urged it to stop.
He said to the audience and viewers watching the live telecast, “The racial profiling has to stop. The shooting to kill mentality has to stop.”
Wade continued with, “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.”
LeBron James closed the oration by advising athletes to do better by going back to their communities and using all tools and resources available at their disposal to effect positive change in their communities.
“Let’s use this moment…to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence.” He said.
“And most importantly, go back to our communities and invest our time, our resources, help rebuild them, help strengthen them, help change them. We all have to do better.” LeBron concluded.
Hopefully their colleagues would answer the call.
Watch the speech here.