LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James won five trophies, including best male athlete and best NBA player, at the ESPY Awards on Wednesday night when frivolity gave way to a James-led call to end gun violence and racial profiling.
The show honoring the year’s best athletes and sports moments opened on a somber note, with James and fellow NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade standing four abreast on stage addressing the recent shootings of blacks by white police officers.
Paul, the nephew of a police officer, recited the names of several men who have been fatally shot. Wade urged a stop to racial profiling, a shoot-to-kill mentality and “not seeing the value of black and brown bodies.”
James urged his fellow pros to educate themselves and renounce violence while using their resources and time to help strengthen and rebuild their communities.