(WTNH)–On Wednesday night, four of the NBA’s biggest stars (who are also famously great friends) took to the ESPYs stage to deliver a stirring speech about ending violence in America.
LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade opened the ESPYs by taking turns speaking about the recent shootings of African-Americans by police.
Here is a sampling of what they had to say:
“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.”
“We stand here tonight accepting our role in uniting communities to be the change we need to see. We stand before you as fathers, husbands, sons, 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. But, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Gardner, Laquan McDonald, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile. This is also our reality.”
“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 retalliation has to stop. The endless gun violence in places like Chicago, Dallas, not to mention Orlando. It has to stop. Enough. Enough is enough.”
“We all feel helpless and frustrated by the violence. We do. But that’s not acceptable. 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 GOAT. But to do his legacy any justice, let’s use this moment as a call to action to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence, and renounce all violence. We all have to do better.”