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07/08/2016 02:24 pm ET

Carmelo Anthony Calls On Athletes To Put Morals Over Money In Response To Recent Shootings

"Take Charge. Take Action."
Carmelo Anthony is interviewed during a press conference at Dunleavy Milbank Center on June 27, 2016.
Nathaniel S. Butler via Getty Images
Carmelo Anthony is interviewed during a press conference at Dunleavy Milbank Center on June 27, 2016.

New York Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony delivered a powerful message on Friday via Instagram featuring civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali.

Emboldened and angered by the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the shooting of five Dallas police officers, Anthony called out his fellow professional athletes. 

Anthony’s message: “Take Charge. Take Action.”

First off let me start off by saying " All Praise Due To The Most High." Secondly, I'm all about rallying, protesting, fighting for OUR people. Look I'll even lead the charge, By Any Means Necessary. We have to be smart about what we are doing though. We need to steer our anger in the right direction. The system is Broken. Point blank period. It has been this way forever. Martin Luther King marched. Malcolm X rebelled. Muhammad Ali literally fought for US. Our anger should be towards the system. If the system doesn't change we will continue to turn on the TVs and see the same thing. We have to put the pressure on the people in charge in order to get this thing we call JUSTICE right. A march doesn't work. We tried that. I've tried that. A couple social media post/tweet doesn't work. We've all tried that. That didn't work. Shooting 11 cops and killing 5 WILL NOT work. While I don't have a solution, and I'm pretty sure a lot of people don't have a solution, we need to come together more than anything at this time. We need each other. These politicians have to step up and fight for change. I'm calling for all my fellow ATHLETES to step up and take charge. Go to your local officials, leaders, congressman, assemblymen/assemblywoman and demand change. There's NO more sitting back and being afraid of tackling and addressing political issues anymore. Those days are long gone. We have to step up and take charge. We can't worry about what endorsements we gonna lose or whose going to look at us crazy. I need your voices to be heard. We can demand change. We just have to be willing to. THE TIME IS NOW. IM all in. Take Charge. Take Action. DEMAND CHANGE. Peace7 #StayMe7o

A photo posted by @carmeloanthony on

With many prominent civil rights leaders pictured above his message, Anthony called for other athletes to stop caring so much about their endorsement deals and instead use their platforms to address serious social and political issues. But he doesn’t mean their social media platforms ― Anthony wants his peers to use their star status as pro athletes to help influence tangible change.

“A march doesn’t work. We tried that. I’ve tried that. A couple social media post/tweet [sic] doesn’t work,” he wrote in his post, drawing on his own activist experiences over the past few years. 

In April 2015, after an Instagram post on the incident, Anthony was spotted with protestors in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody from a spinal injury. In Anthony’s opinion, what he’s done is not enough, and neither is the work of other athletes who’ve spoken up against police violence. 

Carmelo Anthony is seen marching on Baltimore City Hall on April 30, 2015, after the death of Freddie Gray.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Carmelo Anthony is seen marching on Baltimore City Hall on April 30, 2015, after the death of Freddie Gray.

He also condemned acts of violence against police officers as solution, writing, “Shooting 11 cops and killing 5 WILL NOT work.” 

Though Anthony admitted most people, including himself, do not have a solution, he knows it starts with us all “com[ing] together more than anything at this time.”

Hopefully this is the start of a new era for professional athletes, one where there is no longer a reluctancy to speak up on social issues out of fear of lost endorsements or, as Anthony put it, whether people will be “look[ing] at us crazy.” 

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