On Monday, Carmelo Anthony, along with WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings, representatives of the LAPD, local Boys & Girls Clubs and Brotherhood Crusade, came together at the Challengers Boys & Girls Club in South Central LA for a town hall meeting billed as “Leadership Together: A Conversation with Our Sons & Daughters,” to have an open conversation about police violence.
“I was watching the news and there was just so much shit that was happening – back-to-back-to-back,” said Anthony to Vice after the 2-hour meeting. “A lot of the time, when situations occur, athletes are mute. Their team is telling them not to say anything. Their team is telling them to stay away from politics and religion. Like, those are two topics where athletes never cross that line and talk about. For me, I control my own destiny and I wanted to speak up this time.”
Anthony also praised Michael Jordan for speaking up and donating $2 million to two organizations working to build trust between the police and their communities.
“I thought it was brilliant and about time that he stepped up and said what he said,” said Anthony. “At the end of the day, amongst us, he is our face. He is an African-American and a very powerful African-American, so for him to step up in the midst of these times right now, it was very big on his behalf. It’s not always about the money, but for him to step up and put his money where his mouth is at, the timing was perfect.”
Anthony plans on organizing many more of these meetings across the country with more athletes, celebs and community leaders.
“Honestly, I like to speak on real shit, man.” said Anthony to Vice, when asked if he was uncomfortable going into the meeting. “I pick my battles on what I speak on because when I do speak, it’s authentic. It’s genuine. It’s real. And I’ll take the gloves off.