LOS ANGELES (AP) – LeBron James and fellow NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade opened the ESPY Awards with a plea to address racial profiling and end the nation’s spate of gun violence.
They stood on stage at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday night and took turns commenting on what Anthony called “the realities of the current state of America.”
Paul, nephew of a police officer, recited the names of several black men who have been killed, most by guns.
“We all feel helpless and frustrated by the violence,” James said.
James urged his fellow professional athletes to return to their communities and invest time and resources in helping rebuild them. He asked them to educate themselves and renounce violence.
“We all have to do better,” he said.
Also at the ESPYs Wednesday night, TNT’s Craig Sager was honored with the Jimmy V award for perseverance.http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:17063701
The Arthur Ashe award went to a high school football player who was killed while shielding three girls during a random shooting in Knoxville, TN last December. Zaevion Dobson has been described as an outstanding young man who was well liked by teachers and peers. The award was accepted on his behalf by his mother and twohttp://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:17060299
And all-time greats Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning, and Abby Wambach were named Icon award winners.http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:17063019