LeBron James took the stage at ESPN’s Espy Awards Wednesday night with three other NBA superstars, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Dwayne Wade and delivered an opening speech that nobody expected. Rather than talk about the great season the Cavs had or telling a joke to get the evening started, James instead gave the young men and women who love him so and look to him for inspiration a moment they can truly cherish forever.
“We can do better,” he said. Side by side with three other men who grew up knowing exactly what it’s like in the inner cities of America, James declared that not just him and just the three men standing with him but all professional athletes no matter who they are or where they come from need to use their powerful influence to learn all they can about what causes the violence and hatred we’ve all had the displeasure of witnessing lately.
James called on those athletes to bring their knowledge back to their communities to teach the kids there how to stop making the mistakes of those who came before them. The message was clear and strong. It doesn’t matter if you’re addressing the deaths of black men at the hands of police or the deaths of police in acts of just as senseless violence, violence is simply never the answer.
Watch the powerful message below, posted by Good Morning America on Twitter:
It won’t be until all of our children learn to battle the violence with kindness and hope that we will truly be able to evolve as a society.
Featured image by David Liam Kyle/Getty Images