This year is only half way through, and it’s already been stained with more tragedies than we care to count. The last two months alone have seen the shooting at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Orlando and the Dallas sniper attack; two events which displayed the extremity and horror of gun violence in America. Now more than ever, it’s clear that something major has to change in this country in order for peace to be restored.
At Wednesday night’s ESPY Awards, NBA superstar LeBron James shared the stage with fellow athletes Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul, to deliver a powerful message of peace.
“We all feel helpless and frustrated by the violence—we do,” he said. “But that’s not acceptable. It’s time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, ‘What are we doing to create change?'”
James referenced the legendary boxer Muhammed Ali and ESPY’s planned tribute for the late heavyweight, adding “To do his legacy any justice, let’s use this moment as a call to action for all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use your influence, and renounce all violence.”
He went on to emphasize the importance of going back into troubled communities to rebuild and strengthen resources, and how “we all have to do better” if lasting change is ever going to happen.
The message from James was incredibly inspiring, and although there’s a long road ahead, it’s amazing to see public figures doing their part to band together and spark hope in a time when we all need it the most.
You can watch the combined speech from all four athletes right here.