Carmelo Anthony recently spoke with the New York Times, answering questions surrounding his call to action regarding racial tensions, which he has spoken about more frequently lately than basketball.

Anthony feels the upcoming Olympics are starting at the perfect time to speak up and send messages that promote healing. He’s just getting started.

The Olympic team leaves Las Vegas this week and has an exhibition game in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Anthony wants to take the opportunity to work on something new, where he can bring people together to open the dialog. From the Times:

We’re going to try to host a town hall in L.A. to get some people out there. What I put out on Instagram sparked something, so now we have to follow through with it.

Anthony wrote a long inspirational piece on his Instagram page with a photo of athletes such as Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul Jabbar banding together.

Melo also stated that he planned to avoid the ESPY awards, but he was convinced by fellow NBA stars to come and speak with them on behalf of NBA athletes.

It was because of what I posted. Those guys were going to the ESPYs. I wasn’t going to the ESPYs. Then they called, got on a group text. We should use this platform as an opportunity to speak. It was because of what I posted. I’m glad the guys I’m close with stepped up — they have a big voice in their own way.

Anthony also participated in a March in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland over a killing that sparked a riot, and he feels in some way he’s responsible for using his own name and platform to call for change.

At the end of the day, the tragedies that have happened, it affects people. We’re athletes, but we’re human beings at the end of the day. We’re affected by all of that. We have family in some of those cities. … We’re affected. Just because we’re out here playing basketball as athletes doesn’t mean we’re not affected.

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