While there have been many pro athletes who have spoken up about important social issues in light of the police shootings that have taken place over the last month, few of them have been as vocal as Carmelo Anthony. Since the start of July, the Knicks star has begged other athletes to "step up" and take a stand in a passionate letter posted on his website. He has written an op-ed for The Guardian to explain why it’s essential for athletes to "keep this conversation going" with regards to the violence that has plagued the country. And he has taken the stage at the 2016 ESPY Awards alongside LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Paul to deliver a strong #BlackLivesMatter speech. Now, he’s taking things one step further by organizing a meeting with community leaders, politicians, athletes, celebrities, and more that is set to take place in Los Angeles on Monday.
According to Carmelo, the meeting will be closed to the media to allow for open discussion between all those who have been invited to it. He’s hoping it will push the conversation surrounding police shootings forward and encourage those in attendance to share their honest thoughts on them.
"We want to get youth. We want to get kids. We want to get officers. We want to get teachers. We want to get community leaders, athletes, everybody, having this conversation and talking on both sides, hearing each other out," he said on Thursday after Team USA practice in Las Vegas. "It’s part of continuing what I started off. The problem is, people don’t have answers. I think everybody is searching for answers. People are searching for what to do and how to do it. We’re not going to find answers overnight. It’s not going to happen."
Carmelo called on those attending the meeting to come with an open mind.
"Be open-minded from both sides and all fronts, whether you’re a police officer, a mailman, trash man, homeless, whoever you are," he said. "I just think it’s about being aware and open-minded."
There’s been no word yet about who exactly has been invited to the meeting or where in Los Angeles it will take place, but it’s clear Carmelo is going to continue to do whatever he can to keep social issues at the forefront, even as he prepares to play in the 2016 Summer Olympics.