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‘Enough is Enough’: NBA Superstars Open ESPY Awards With Stirring Address to End Violence

The annual ESPY Awards recognize the greatest achievement in sports, doling out awards for everything from “Best Female Action Sports Athlete” to “Best Moment” of the last year. But the ceremony opened on a somber note with a number of high profile NBA superstars addressing the recent violence that has divided the nation.

Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James spoke about the recent killings in Baton Rouge and Minnesota, as well as the retaliatory ambush in Dallas that claimed the lives of five police officers. “We can not ignore the realities of the current state of America,” said Anthony.

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The Knicks star continued, “The system is broken. The problems are not new, the violence is not new, and the racial divide definitely is not new. The urgency to create change is at an all-time high.”

Chris Paul, the nephew of a police officer, invoked the names of several African American men who have lost their lives at the hands of law enforcement, including TrayVon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown.

“The racial profiling has to stop. The shoot-to-kill mentality has to stop…. but also, the retaliate has to stop. Enough is enough,” added Wade, as the quartet addressed both sides of this debate in an effort to put an end to the violence that the nation has seen recently unfold.

“It won’t always be comfortable, but it is necessary,” he continued. The four called on their fellow athletes to take accountability as community leaders and visible presences to do their part in the dialogue.

“Speak up,” James said. “Use our influence and renounce all violence.”

[image via screengrab]

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