Carmelo Anthony has always been on the forefront of social justice in the NBA. The former Oklahoma City Thunder forward has walked with protesters in Baltimore, been a positive force while leading the community in discussion, and taken center stage with LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade in speaking out against police brutality.
And although Anthony doesn’t have a team just yet — he’s still expected to sign with the Houston Rockets — that doesn’t mean that he is taking the summer off from being a voice for justice in the association.
Anthony recently went on CNN and spoke about the disaster relief effort happening in Puerto Rico. During the interview, Anthony said that he felt as though the mainland government in the United States had not done its part to help Puerto Ricans, who are U.S. citizens.
“We sent, you know, airplanes down there with supplies,” he said. “We had the supply stuff at the … you know, at the port; we couldn’t get in. We had to make calls and — it was just a lot. It was just sad that we had to go through (that) … in order to help people,” he told Jones.
“Puerto Rico is part of this country and I just felt like the government completely turned their back, you know, to their island,” Anthony added.
Anthony has made his voice known regarding Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria before. In 2017, Anthony wrote a piece on The Players Tribune that was accompanied by a video asking for people to help.
Anthony’s father is Puerto Rican, and he has done a significant amount of fundraising to help the devastated island nation. Carmelo set up a donation page that has nearly amassed a half million dollars in charitable gifts from the public.
Anything about the Rockets, or whether or not Carmelo is still a useful basketball player doesn’t really apply in this scenario. The fact is, Anthony is still making his voice heard and using the platform he has as an NBA player to help ease the suffering of others. That’s the right move.
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