LeBron James leads ESPYs speech asking athletes to fight racism, violence

Jul 13, 2016, 8:15 PM | Updated: 8:43 pm

LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul were in the spotlight last July because of their banana boat vacationing.

A year later, following one of the most violent weeks in America, the foursome appeared in a much more serious light.

Leading off the 2016 ESPY Awards, the NBA veterans used the spotlight as a call to action, renouncing racial injustices that face the United States while calling out their fellow professional athletes to help them make a change.

“The racial profiling has to stop,” Wade said, before adding that retaliation cannot be tolerated. “Not seeing the value of black and brown bodies has to stop.”

The group challenged their peers at the ESPYs to help fight against social injustice but also to fight for change by continuing to make a difference in their communities.

“We all feel helpless and frustrated by the violence. We all do,” James said. “That’s no acceptable.

“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,” James said. “Let’s use this moment as a call to action for all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence.”

Anthony began the speech. Here are what he, Paul and Wade had to say before James closed it up.

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LeBron James leads ESPYs speech asking athletes to fight racism, violence