Carmelo Anthony believes that an Olympic gold medal would make a statement
His social activism doesn’t end with the ESPYs speech alongside fellow NBA superstars; Anthony has spoken against gun violence, marched in protest of the wrongful killing of Freddie Gray and called for his fellow professional athletes to use their platform of celebrity to stress the need for change.
“I’ve thought about it, I just don’t have the answers to what should be done. Then I also sit back and I also say, ‘This is the biggest platform, the whole world is watching – what better way to make a statement than it is to go out there and win a gold medal and become united?’ That’s bigger than any other protest we can do on that stage.”
The nine-time all-star shared a similar sentiment in a self-penned letter to The Guardian last month.
“In three weeks I’ll travel to Rio with the United States’ Olympic team to perform on a global stage. I haven’t spoken with my teammates yet about the opportunity before us and how we can take advantage of it, because at the end of the day I want it to be genuine. If you don’t feel like you want to make a statement or make a stand, then don’t do it. You shouldn’t feel forced to do it. You have to want to do that.
“For me, I do feel like this is a platform where we should – we as athletes, we as Americans – use it for something. Whether we make a statement out there or send a message, we can show the world that we’re united. Whatever way we want to do it, this is a chance to do something meaningful before an audience of billions. I don’t know what that something is yet, but we still have time to figure it out.”
Anthony knows that it won’t be easy for the country to become more united but he appears to be determined to do what he can to influence change, as he made clear to ESPN.
“We need to be educated, we need to educate our youth, because right now it’s a major, major disconnect,” Anthony said. “Another point I was making in that conversation was (about the police) ‘You have to abide by the law, you’re not the law.’ They were very receptive to knowing that. I’m committed. We gotta get our youth back, off the streets, we have to get the community feeling back, and we need police to do that. We need them to protect and serve, but we also need them to build these bonds back into the community because it’s lost right now.”