The NBA’s biggest star led a plea to end gun violence at ESPN’s annual ESPY Awards, held Wednesday night in Los Angeles in a ceremony televised by ABC.
The AP reports that LeBron James, who won five trophies during the ceremony, was joined by fellow NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade in opening the ceremony on a somber note with a discussion of recent shootings of African Americans by white police officers.
“Paul, the nephew of a police officer, recited the names of several men who have been killed,” the story reports. “Wade urged a stop to racial profiling, a shoot-to-kill mentality and ‘not seeing the value of black and brown bodies.'”
Added James, whose honors during the ceremony included best male athlete, best championship performance and best NBA player: “We all feel helpless and frustrated by the violence.”
Breanna Stewart was named best female athlete after leading the UConn women’s basketball team to its fourth consecutive NCAA title.
“In her speech, Stewart called for equality for female athletes,” the AP notes.
Stewart said in her acceptance speech: “Female athletes don’t receive half the fame. I know everyone in this room loves and supports women and girls in sports and wants to be a part of that change, right? Equality for all takes each of us making an effort. Together let’s be better.”