'Enough is enough': LeBron James and other athletes give 'Black Lives Matter' speech at ESPYs calling for end to 'shoot-to-kill mentality'

James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul opened the show

They addressed police violence against black men Wednesday night

Anthony said 'the system is broken' due to 'violence' and a 'racial divide'

Paul gave roll-call of victims including Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

Wade said 'the shoot-to-kill mentality must stop'

And James commanded audience 'use our influence, renounce all violence'

By JAMES WILKINSON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 03:16 GMT, 14 July 2016 | UPDATED: 03:28 GMT, 14 July 2016


LeBron James joined Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul to address the police shootings of black men in a joint speech at the opening of the 2016 ESPYs Wednesday night, as the stars spoke of a 'broken system' and a 'shoot-to-kill mentality.'

'We all feel helpless and frustrated by the violence,' James said. 'We do. But thatís not acceptable. Itís time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, "What are we doing to create change?"'

And Dwayne Wade implored: '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.'



Frustrated: Basketball players (l-r) Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James spoke of
their frustration at America's 'broken system' in a speech that opened the ESPYs Wednesday night



Change: James said 'we all feel helpless and frustrated by the violence,' but said that athletes must work
to change American society. His compatriots denounced the country's 'racial divide' violence


The four athletes took to the stage under a somber blue light at the start of the ceremony, with New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony speaking first.

The ESPYs are a time of joy he said, but 'this moment of celebration, we asked to start the show tonight this way: the four of us talking to our fellow athletes with the country watching.

'Because we cannot ignore the realities of the current state of America.'

'The system is broken,' he continued. 'The problems are not new, the violence is not new, and the racial divide definitely is not new. But the urgency to great change is at an all time high.'
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Chris Paul of the LA Clippers spoke next. Calling himself a father, son, husband, brother and 'nephew of a police officer,' he went on to list a roll-call of high-profile black victims of police violence including Trayvon

Martin, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. 'This is also our reality,' he said.

'The racial profiling has to stop,' said Dwayne Wade. 'The shoot-to-kill mentality has to stop. Not seeing the value of black and brown bodies has to stop. But also the retaliation has to stop.

'The endless gun violence in places like Chicago, Dallas, not to mention Orlando - it has to stop. Enough! Enough is enough.

'Now, as athletes, itís on us to challenge each other to do even more than what we already do in our own communities. And the conversation cannot - it cannot stop as our schedules get busy again.

'It wonít always be convenient. It wonít. It wonít always be comfortable. But it is necessary.'


Peace out: James ended the group's shared speech by saying the audience members must do the legacy
of Muhammad Ali justice by speaking up, using their influence and renouncing all violence


Finally, James closed out the speech: 'We all feel helpless and frustrated by the violence. We do. But thatís not acceptable. Itís time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, "What are we doing to create change?"'

He continued: 'I know tonight weíll honor Muhammad Ali, the GOAT.

'To do his legacy any justice, letís use this moment as a call to action to 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. We all have to do better. Thank you.'

THE 'BLACK LIVES MATTER' SPEECH IN FULL


Carmelo Anthony
Good evening. Tonight is a celebration of sports, celebrating our accomplishments and our victories. But in this moment of celebration, we asked to start the show tonight this way: the four of us talking to our fellow athletes with the country watching. Because 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 great change is at an all time high.

Chris Paul
We stand here tonight accepting our role in uniting communities to be the change we need to see. We stand before you as fathers, sons, husbands, 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 Garner, Laquan McDonald, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile: this is also our reality. Generations ago, legends like Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Kareem Abdul-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 follow in their footsteps.

Dwyane Wade
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 retaliation has to stop. The endless gun violence in places like Chicago, Dallas, not to mention Orlando - it has to stop. Enough! Enough is enough. Now, as athletes, itís on us to challenge each other to do even more than what we already do in our own communities. And the conversation cannot - it cannot stop as our schedules get busy again. It wonít always be convenient. It wonít. It wonít always be comfortable. But it is necessary.

LeBron James

We all feel helpless and frustrated by the violence. We do. But thatís not acceptable. Itís time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, 'What are we doing to create change?' Itís not about being a role model. Itís not about our responsibility to a condition of activism. I know tonight weíll honor Muhammad Ali, the GOAT. To do his legacy any justice, letís use this moment as a call to action to 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. We all have to do better. Thank you.


'Enough is enough': LeBron James and other athletes give 'Black Lives Matter' speech at ESPYs calling for end to 'shoot-to-kill mentality'