In the wake of the resumed furor over police violence against African Americans, maybe no athlete has been more outspoken than Carmelo Anthony about the need for change. It’s nothing new, either — Melo marched in Baltimore last year to protest the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, a case that is still being resolved in the courts.
Now, a third of the six officers indicted in Gray’s death has been cleared of all charges, another disappointing blow in a battle that has never been on level ground. Anthony, who was part of the group of NBA superstars calling for change at the ESPY awards, has once again been tasked to speak on the issue, this time to ESPN’s The Undefeated.
“It’s just sad,” Anthony told The Undefeated. “The people there, the communities there, all they want is justice. Everybody is expecting something to come out of this. It’s just getting worse and worse.”
“I don’t think anyone has the answers. I said it before, the system is broken. It takes a lot to fix it,” Anthony, 32, said.
Many crying out for justice may see Anthony’s words as relatively tame considering the raw hurt experienced by those who live in communities most affected by the police’s lack of accountability and propensity to see people of color as enemy combatants. After all, Melo isn’t calling for any particular solution or even naming the source of the problem — but he’s still doing more to bring attention to the issue than nearly everyone else in his position.
So many of us find it easy to speak in the loudest possible terms about the issues that are important to us because we’re not in direct conversation with the loudest voices on the other side of them. But the higher your profile is, the more you hear from people who disagree with you. Anthony is exposed to thousands and thousands of people just by dint of his profession, and none of them know him because of his political views. By speaking in broad terms, Melo is trying to engage with everyone on the issue of police violence instead of simply preaching to the choir, and that’s commendable.
(Via The Undefeated)