Cleveland Cavaliers forward and reigning NBA Finals MVP LeBron James has been a voice of reason regarding the recent uptick of violence on American streets in recent years.
Never afraid to tell us how he feels with thoughts that go deeper than what most athletes are willing to provide, James can continue to use his platform to better the world.
Following his comments on the recent officer-involved shooting in Minnesota, James took time to talk about a situation that’s becoming less attainable by the day.
He did so during Wednesday night’s broadcast of the ESPY Awards.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 14, 2016
“We all feel helpless and frustrated by the violence. We do. But that’s not acceptable,” James said on stage with Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade in tow. “It’s time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, ‘what are we doing to create change?’ It’s not about being a role model. It’s not about our responsibility to the tradition of activism.”
This comes after Anthony himself spoke up about the recent violence in the United States.
Athletes, black athletes in particular, have a unique platform here. One that can help unite, rather than divide. One that can enable those who follow them to move on from the divisive aspects of society we see today.
For his part, James has continued to make it clear that he’s going to be one of those outspoken critics of today’s society. That he will do what he can to help create change in America. He’s also now calling on other athletes to do the same.
“I know tonight we’ll honor Muhammad Ali, the GOAT. But to do his legacy any justice, let’s use this moment as a call to action for all professional athletes,” James continued. “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. We all have to do better. Thank you.”
James doesn’t just point the finger at America’s police force. A force that has continued to find itself under fire due to actions of its own. Instead, he’s calling on athletes to help rebuild the impacted communities and use their influence to create change.
It’s in this that the best basketball world on the planet can act like the NBA’s ambassador to the rest of the world, primarily an ever-frustrated American public.