NEW YORK (AFP) – NBA star Carmelo Anthony on Friday urged athletes to ‘‘step up’’ and ‘‘demand change,’’ following the shooting deaths of two black men at the hands of police and the slayings of five law enforcement officers in Dallas. Anthony, a New York Knicks forward who could win an unprecedented third men’s Olympic basketball gold medal in Rio, posted a message on social media calling for athletes to help change a system that he described as ‘‘Broken.
Point blank period.’’n ‘‘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.’’ Five officers were killed, and seven police and two civilians were wounded in Dallas on Thursday night in a sniper-style attack during a peaceful protest against police brutality following the deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota.
Anthony, 32, said advocating social justice was more important than doing nothing over fears a sponsor might walk away. ‘‘We can’t worry about what endorsements we gonna lose or (who’s) going to look at us crazy. I need your voices to be heard,’’ Anthony pleaded. Anthony, a 14-year NBA veteran, said he would be willing to lead the way but noted that nothing people have done so far has made a difference. ‘‘I’m all about rallying, protesting, fighting for OUR people. Look I’ll even lead the charge, By Any Means Necessary,’’ he posted. ‘‘We have to be smart about what we are doing though.
We need to steer our anger in the right direction.’’