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Carmelo Anthony at the ESPYs: "We cannot ignore the realities of the current state of America"

Powerful words from Melo and his longtime friends.

Carmelo Anthony has stepped to the forefront of athletes willing to speak out on the racial tensions that have erupted yet gain over the past week, first with a heartfelt Instagram postthen with an op-ed piece in The Guardian. And it would appear that Melo is just getting started.

The Knicks forward joined with his perennial all-star friends, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James to offer a stirring call to action during Wednesday's broadcast of the ESPY awards:

Melo's introduction:

"Good evening. Tonight is a celebration of sports, celebrating our accomplishments and our victories. But, in this moment of celebration, we asked to start the show tonight this way:The four of us talking to our fellow athletes with the country watching. Because we cannot ignore the realities of the current state of America. The events of the past week have put a spotlight on the injustice, distrust, and anger that plagues so many of us. The system is broken. The problems are not new, the violence is not new, and the racial divide definitely is not new. But the urgency to create change is at an all-time high."

I highly recommend watching the entire video. Whatever your opinion of these guys on the basketball court, on this night they brought honor to their league, their sport and their country.