NBA stars’ activism resonates with Knoxville athletes

(source: The ESPYs)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Wednesday night during the ESPYs, four NBA stars jumped into the national conversation on gun violence and excessive police force against African Americans particularly.

“We all have to do better,” said Lebron James.

It was a message on full display for the world to see. The remarks of four big time NBA stars are resonating with young athletes right here in Knoxville. Brody Stone, a senior basketball player at University of the South, says he was truly inspired by what the athletes said.

“I thought that was definitely a great time to grab everybody’s attention and deliver their message,” said Stone.

Stone feels like more athletes should follow suit.

“Not just African-American athletes, athletes of all races, genders, whatever,” he said.

The stars spoke against gun violence, police brutality and retaliation. The stance reminds local boxer Denzel Williams of how black athletes became vocal in the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

“They did a great job, they did a good job, they made Muhammad Ali proud on his night man,” said Williams.

Williams also thinks others with power should use their voice as well.

“I think everybody should use their platform, not just athletes, I think singers, actors, Denzel Washington, Oprah, Everybody,” he said.

Because when the conversation gets going they both believe change will soon come.

“America is a good place but it could definitely be better,” said Stone.

This isn’t the first time NBA superstars have spoken out on social issues in America. In 2012, Carmelo Anthony appeared in a public service announcement speaking out against gun safety.

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