It all started with an Instagram post. In the wake of all the violence our country has endured over the past few weeks, Carmelo Anthony posted a photo from the Ali Summit of June 1967, where the nation’s top black athletes convened in support of Muhammad Ali’s decision to object his induction into the Vietnam War.
What resulted was a moment unseen on this stage. The ESPYS reached out to Carmelo Anthony and he, along with Lebron James, Chris Paul, and Dwayne Wade, decided to take advantage of the platform they were given. Each athlete spoke and addressed the recent killings that have transfixed the country and challenged athletes to do more and be better within the community. Each athlete acknowledged that they are looked upon to lead in each community, and as Dwayne Wade said “It won’t always be convenient. It won’t always be comfortable. But it is necessary.”
ESPN senior vice president and executive producer Connor Schell said, “Now more than ever their platform gives them the power to voice what they stand for and on a night where the ESPYS are honoring the legacy of Muhammad Ali in front of so many sports legends, this message was so powerful and appropriate.” This might be a turning point as athletes all know that this is bigger than sports: it is about positively impacting our communities to ensure our world is a safer place.
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