Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony was recognized as one of five finalists for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Social Justice Champion Award, as reported by ESPN’s Martenzie Johnson. The award seeks to acknowledge players who help to further facilitate growth towards social and racial equality. ESPN highlighted a few of Anthony’s major contributions as follows:
Anthony, alongside Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul and former NBA guard Dwyane Wade, created the Social Change Fund in July 2020. The fund is an investment organization that strives to address the social and economic issues facing Black communities, including voting, housing and education. He also established the STAYME7O Propel Program and Creative 7, initiatives focused on content creation, fashion, art and design. Anthony is also a board member of the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition. His designated organization is the Portland Art Museum’s Black Arts and Experiences Initiative.
The 10-time All-Star has also utilized his platform through his own podcast show — “What’s In Your Glass” — to advance conversations on empowerment and ways to fix civil unrest. Within that Social Change Fund, Anthony is assisting in creating scholarships for students of color and unrepresented ethnic groups with an emphasis on mental health.
Among others to be recognized: Tobias Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers, Harrison Barnes of the Sacramento Kings, Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Juan Toscano-Anderson of the Golden State Warriors. The winner will receive a $100,000 donation to the organization of their choosing, and the runner-ups will receive a $25,000 donation. The link to find out more about the other candidates’ organizations can be found here.