LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul opened the ESPYs on Wednesday night with a call for change.
The four NBA stars and close friends stood together on-stage and addressed critical national topics involving race, police violence and community involvement, using the award show as a platform for their message of social justice.
“We asked to start the show tonight this way,” Anthony opened, “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 plagued so many of us.”
Watch each of their speeches below, in the order they took place.
James in particular has been outspoken for social justice in the past, and all four athletes weighed in on the killings of black men Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police last week. Anthony wrote in a Guardian editorial earlier this week about utilizing his platform as an athlete, and did so in tandem with Wade, James and Paul.
This year’s ESPYs show will honor Craig Sager and the late Muhammad Ali, among others.
- Jeremy Woo