Carmelo Anthony again called on his fellow athletes to use their platforms to speak out on social issues in the wake of the shooting deaths last week of two African-American men and five Dallas police officers.
The Knicks' star wrote in a column for The Guardian newspaper that athletes shouldn't be worried about losing potential endorsement income when speaking about social issues. He added that he's considering using his platform at the Rio Olympics to send a message.
"I do feel like this is a platform where we should -- we as athletes, we as Americans -- use it for something," Anthony said of the Summer Olympics, which open Aug. 5. "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 recently posted a similar message on Instagram in the wake of the shootings in Dallas.
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
He reiterated that he isn't demanding that all athletes speak out on social issues. But he doesn't want the fear of losing out on endorsement dollars to be seen as a deterrent.
"We have one of the biggest platforms to speak out, one where people pay attention to what we have to say, whether it's everyday civilians or those in positions of power. We have that influence. It's just a matter of if we want to use it or not," Anthony wrote in The Guardian. "Everybody uses it for different reasons. But at a time like this, you have to put aside the politics of business and whether a sponsor or somebody from a company that you represent is going to call you about it. If you're a human being, this affects everybody."
NBA commissioner Adam Silver commended Anthony on Tuesday for taking a strong stance in the wake of the recent gun violence across the country.
"I am absolutely in favor of players speaking out and speaking from the heart about whatever issues are important to them. It's how this country operates,'' Silver said after the NBA's Board of Governors meeting in Las Vegas. "I've had this direct conversation with many of our players, and I'm not one to say they have an obligation to do it, but I think those who feel comfortable doing it and want to speak out, they have this incredible forum to do it, whether it's through in a formal way through media members that are in this room or whether it's through social media. I actually think it demonstrates that these are multidimensional people. They live in this society, and they have strong views about how things should be. So I'm very encouraging of that."
In his column for The Guardian, Anthony stressed that he didn't have the answers to solve the recent gun violence that's plagued the country. But he wanted to put pressure on political leaders to work toward finding a solution by continuing the national conversation on the issues.
"This is not really about politics," he wrote. "There's nothing political about taking a stand and speaking on what you believe in. The teams and the support systems around athletes urge them to stay away from politics, stay away from religion, stay away from this, stay away from that. But at certain times you've just got to put all of that aside and be a human being. That time is now."