At ESPY Awards, NBA Stars Plead for End to Gun Violence

LeBron James won five trophies
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 14, 2016 12:42 AM CDT
At ESPY Awards, NBA Stars Plead for End to Gun Violence
NBA basketball players—from left, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James—speak at the ESPY Awards.   (Chris Pizzello)

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 AP reports. 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 onstage addressing the recent shootings of blacks by white police officers. "The urgency to create change is at an all-time high," Anthony said. Paul, the nephew of a police officer, recited the names of several men who have been killed. Wade urged a stop to racial profiling, a shoot-to-kill mentality, and "not seeing the value of black and brown bodies." "Enough is enough," he said. James echoed Wade, noting, "We all feel helpless and frustrated by the violence."

Golden State star Stephen Curry thanked the quartet for their message while accepting the night's first award for record-breaking performance (he hit 402 3-pointers during the regular season). James won male athlete and championship performance for the third time in his career and his fifth trophy as top NBA player. He shared the team and best moment awards with his Cavaliers teammates. Zaevion Dobson, a 15-year-old high school football player from Knoxville, Tenn., was honored posthumously with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for giving his life to shield two young women from gunfire last year. His mother and two brothers accepted the trophy from Curry, with last year's honoree Caitlyn Jenner joining the standing ovation. Breanna Stewart won best female athlete on her third try. Stewart helped UConn win a fourth straight NCAA basketball championship before going to the WNBA. (More LeBron James stories.)

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