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Carmelo Anthony covers the new issue of ESPN Magazine. He talks very little about basketball.

Over the summer Carmelo Anthony challenged professional athletes to use their platforms to bring attention to the many injustices wreaking havoc in America. He followed that challenge with a monumental opening at the 2016 ESPY awards where he was joined by Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and LeBron James on stage to challenge even more athletes to speak up. Then when his sponsor Michael Jordan obliged, he didn’t pat him on the back, he said “about time.” 

Now, Carmelo is headed into his thirteenth NBA season at one of the most trying times in American history. He knows this and realizes the power of his profile, which is why he’s been more outspoken as of late.

In his interview with ESPN Magazine, ‘Melo talks about how the Freddie Gray police killing in his hometown of Baltimore was the one that really set him off and made him speak up. He also shared a story about the night he talked with Colin Kaepernick right after he chose to sit during the national anthem, the first time.

Per ESPN:

ESPN: Have you spoken to Colin at all? What was your initial reaction when you saw it?

CA: I spoke to him that night. He reached out to me that night. And I’m watching and I’m like, “OK.” Like, “What’s next?” In a very respectful way, he was like, “I took this step and, you know, just wanted to get your thoughts on what’s happening.” And I said, “Well, you’re courageous.” I said, “You just showed a lot of courage in what you just did, but now is the hard part because you have to keep it going. So if that was just a one-time thing, then you’re fucked. But now you keep it going and be articulate and elaborate on why you’re doing it, and be educated and knowledgeable of why you’re doing it so when people ask, you can stand up for what you believe in and really let them hear why.”

Throughout the interview ‘Melo spoke on how Black athletes have become just as powerful as the team owners they play for and how that is “scary” to them. He also spoke on how police brutality isn’t the only issue that needs attention, he feels the same about a failing education system.

Peep the entire interview here.

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