Last night’s 2016 ESPY Awards opened with Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade and Lebron James addressed the killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and the 5 Dallas police officers. They urged their fellow athletes to follow in the footsteps of great athletes like, Muhammad Ali, Jesse Owens, Arthur Ashe who served as a model for what athletes should stand for. Lebron also encouraged them to “speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence and, most importantly, go back to our communities, invest our time, our resources, help rebuild them, help strengthen them, help change them. We all have to do better.”
Let’s take a look at what each of these phenomenal players is doing within their respective communities.
The Carmelo Anthony Foundation gives back to the community through a variety of outreach programs and donations. The mission is to positively impact the lives of those living in under-served communities through 3 key focus areas – education, recreation & community outreach. They support programs & services that empower & inspire the less fortunate to transcend their circumstances. Raising awareness and fostering innovation around educational and recreational opportunities for children, families and their communities, the Foundation sponsors special projects and events, while collaborating with other donors, business leaders, celebrities, athletes and nonprofit organizations.In 2006, the The Giving Back Fund named Carmelo eighth on a list of 30 celebrity philanthropists in America in their “Giving Back 30” report. He was the only basketball player on this list, and was joined in the top tier by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Tiger Woods. Carmelo was recognized for making charitable donations in excess of $4 million for projects in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland and Syracuse, New York. For more information go to: http://www.thecarmeloanthonyfoundation.org
The Wade’s World Foundation provides support to community-based organizations that promote education, health and social skills for children in at-risk situations. WWF is dedicated to its vision of empowering underserved core communities of Chicago, Milwaukee, and the South Florida areas. WWF was created as a vehicle for Dwyane Wade to give back to underserved communities and support issues of purpose. “I can’t just let basketball define who I am and what I am supposed to become,” said Wade. “Like my mother always tells me, ‘[My life] is bigger than basketball.’”Mr. Wade serves as Founder of the Wade’s World Foundation (WWF). His emphasis on community involvement continues in WWF’s programs, which promote the education of health, literacy, and fatherhood.In 2007, after recognizing he wanted more out of the foundation, Mr. Wade appointed his sister Tragil Wade as Wade’s World Foundation’s the new Executive Director. In her first five years at the helm of the foundation, WWF raised $3.2 million dollars while implementing new programming and also expanding it’s global reach through outreach. For more information go to: http://www.wadesworldfoundation.org
The Chris Paul Family Foundation strives to positively impact individuals and families by leveling the playing field in Education, Sports and Life. The foundation provides resources that enrich and strengthen healthy development of strong communities. In 2005, Chris and his family established the CP3 Foundation, a philanthropic partnership with The Winston-Salem Foundation in honor of his late grandfather. The foundation was created to highlight Chris’ dedication and love, both to his grandfather’s spirit and to the city of Winston-Salem, NC, for nurturing him from his days as a stand-out high school student-athlete to a national star at Wake Forest University.Celebrating 10 years of service to the community, Chris Paul and his family awarding two scholarships (one athletic and one academic) to a Forsyth County, North Carolina student with the Nathaniel Jones Scholarship, in memory of Chris’ grandfather and mentor.The foundation’s emphasis on community involvement has won them the NBA’s Community Assist Award three times in Chris’ 10-year career. The award is given to an NBA player that consistently shows passion for philanthropy and community service.The Foundation partnerships with Feed the Children, Make-A-Wish, Salvation Army B&G Clubs, LA’s Best Afterschool programs, Leapz & Bounds and a number of other organizations, aim to support education, literacy and technology enrichment, health and wellness initiatives. For more information go to: https://chrispaul3.com/foundation/
The LeBron James Family Foundation as founded in 2004, to positively affect the lives of children and young adults through education and co-curricular educational initiatives. The Foundation believes that an education and living an active, healthy lifestyle is pivotal to the development of children and young adults. Staffed entirely by volunteers, including LeBron’s mother Gloria, wife Savannah James, and business partner Maverick Carter, the LJFF staff is dedicated to carrying out this mission. In 2011, in partnership with the Akron Public Schools, the LeBron James Family Foundation began working on the high school dropout crisis facing the Akron community and launched “Wheels for Education.” With its recent expansion into the Akron I PROMISE network, the programs are now serving more than 1,000 Akron-area students by providing them with the programs, support and mentors they need for success in school. For more information go to: http://lebronjamesfamilyfoundation.org
Below is the full video of their opening remarks at the ESPYs: