In an interview with Sopan Deb of the New York Times, the Portland Trail Blazers’ Carmelo Anthony explains why he is speaking out for social justice. Anthony has partnered with Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder and retired NBA great Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat to create the Social Change Fund. The fund’s goal is to support communities of color by investing in them and focusing on issues critical to Black people. Anthony spoke about why he is doing this work now, following the death of George Floyd.
“Before, we would say things and we would follow through, then it would just die out until something else happened,” Anthony said. “And then something else happened. We keep being reactive as opposed to being proactive.”
He added, “We realize that we’re still in the same situation that we’ve been in for a very long time.”
Anthony recognized the strengths of his partners, Paul and Wade, as well as those of their seed funders, Creative Artists Agency and Goldman Sachs.
“We all have our different lanes,” Anthony said. “Whether I’m on criminal justice reform, or I want to be on educational reform, we all have these different lanes. So we just want to build this whole actual fund so we could then attack those lanes.”
Anthony also established that he is dedicated to this cause, because it is his lived experience.
“This conversation doesn’t just start and stop with me being a basketball player,” Anthony said. “This is a lifelong journey, a lifelong fight, a lifelong conversation I will continue to have. It’s not that I’ll be ‘focusing’ on that. I am that.”
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