The 2016 ESPY Awards has come and gone but the contributions from NBA’s famous four at the event–Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James–especially with their outstanding Black Lives Matter messages, will forever live in our memories. It gives us solace hearing the idols pass across a message of love and peace.
The event held Wednesday July 13, couldn’t have come at a better time, after the world just witnessed a week riddled with gun violence and fear.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul Deliver Powerful Black Lives Matter Opening Speech at ESPYs.
Losing Alton Sterling and Philando Castile to police violence was horrible. And then the retaliation from Micah Xavier Johnson couldn’t have made it any better.
A total of 12 police officers were wounded at a Dallas Black Lives Matter march and five deaths were recorded, sparking huge protests and condemnation all around the world.
Image: Carmelo Anthony
Anthony, who plays as a forward for the New York Knicks, reportedly opened the presentations with a statement on behalf of Paul, Wade and James.
“The four of us we cannot ignore the realities of the current state of America,” he said.
“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. But the problems are not new, the violence is not new and the racial divide definitely is not new.”
“But the urgency for change is at an all time high,” he added.
Image: Dwyane Wade
Dwayne Wade who plays for the Miami Heat was the next to pass across his message. The famous basketball star begged people to put an end to racial discrimination.
In his words: “Not seeing the value of black and brown bodies has to stop but also the retaliation has to stop. The needless gun violence in places like Chicago, Dallas, not to mention Orlando it has to stop, enough. Enough is enough.
“Now as athletes it’s on us to challenge each other to do even more than we already do in our cow communities.
“The conversation cannot stop as our schedules get busy again. It wont always be convenient, it won’t. It won’t always be comfortable but it is necessary,” the basketball star said.
Image: Lebron James
As the comments rolled in, famous Lebron James [Wade’s former teammate at the Miami Heat], argued that feeling “helpless and frustrated by the violence” is not acceptable. And he used his time on stage to ask viewers to consider a call to action.
The player who’s currently a free agent said: “It’s time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves what are we doing to create change… I know tonight we are honoring Muhammad Ali, the ‘G.O.A.T.’ but to do his legacy any justice let’s use this moment as a call to action for all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence.
“And most importantly go back to our communities, invest our time, our resources, help rebuild them, help strengthen them help change them.”
James who seemed not to be satisfied with the efforts from fellow stars urged them to do more than they’re doing at the moment. The legend born in Akron, Ohio, said summed it up by saying: “We all have to do better.”
Image: Chris Paul
Paul [a guard for the Los Angeles Clippers] wasn’t left out in the speeches. The handsome player says he has a nephew who is also a police officer.
In his words: “[My nephew] is one of the hundreds of thousands of great officers serving this country.
“But Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile.. this is also our reality,” he says, naming the last victims of police brutality in the inexhaustible list.
“Generations ago, legends like Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, John Carlos and Tommy smith. Abdul-Karim al-Jabbar, Jim Brown Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe and countless others… They set a model for what athletes should stand for. So we choose to stand in their footsteps.”
Image: Stephen Curry
Superman Stephen Curry was on-ground to give his acceptance speech for the record-breaking performance award. He thanked his fellow NBA stars for their opening words and had this to add.
“That’s what sports is all about… thanks for what you do,” the Golden State Warriors player said.
Steph is currently the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, won after an amazing season.