NBA star Carmelo Anthony and his fashionable military beret grace the cover of ESPN The Magazine’s November 2016 issue.
Melo’s cover story was little about basketball and focused on racial injustice. Which is a huge ongoing ISSUE in our society. Carmelo speaks (with ESPN’s Howard Bryant)on a slew of topics including the Freddie Gray murder in his hometown of Baltimore, using his influence to make a change, talking to Colin Kaepernick, and inspiring athletes to follow in his footsteps. It’s bigger than basketball.
View and excerpt from the article below. Click to view full.
HB: 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.”
HB: You’re talking about issues that most of America doesn’t really want to talk about, yet you also just played for your country and won a gold medal. How does being called unpatriotic affect you?
CA: I mean, you hear it. I just think that’s bullshit for somebody to call me unpatriotic. That’s totally bullshit. I’ve committed to this country on many different levels. Committing to USA Basketball since I was 19 years old, playing in four Olympics, going to the different parts of the world. Where they were warring, you know? Traveling to Turkey where they were bombing the building three doors down from us. Going to the games where they’ve got “Down with the USA” signs out there.