Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul Partner to Form Social Change Fund

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 22, 2020

FILE - In this July 13, 2016, file photo, NBA basketball players Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, from left, speak on stage at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles. The four gave an anti-violence speech and expressed their support of the values behind the Black Lives Matter movement.(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul announced Wednesday that he is partnering with Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony and former NBA star Dwyane Wade to form the Social Change Fund:

Paul wrote on Twitter that the goal of the Social Change Fund is to "address socio-economic injustice issues facing Black and Brown communities by making meaningful change."

Wade, Anthony and Paul have long been outspoken against racial inequality and social injustice, and they have been joined by prominent athletes across all sports in recent months, especially since the killing of 46-year-old Black man George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

Floyd died after former officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee pressed against the back of his neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and facedown on the ground. Floyd said multiple times that he couldn't breathe.

Chauvin was fired, arrested and charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other three officers on the scene—Thomas Lane, J Alexander Keung and Tou Thao—were also fired and charged with aiding and abetting.

Along with several other prominent instances of police brutality against Black people, Floyd's killing galvanized people across the United States and the world to protest against systemic racism and police brutality.

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When the 2019-20 NBA season resumes in Orlando, Florida, beginning July 30, the phrase "Black Lives Matter" will be painted on the courts. Also, players will be allowed to don pre-approved social justice phrases on their jerseys for the first time in league history.

Paul, Anthony and Wade are longtime friends who played together on the 2008 United States Olympic team that won gold in Beijing.

They also have a lengthy history of advocating for social change. Notably, the three of them and current Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James stood together on stage and delivered a powerful message during the 2016 ESPYS.

After a string of shooting deaths in major cities across the United States, the NBA superstars used their platform to raise awareness.

At the time, Wade said"The racial profiling has to stop. The shoot-to-kill mentality has to stop. Not seeing the value of Black and Brown bodies has to stop. But also the retaliation has to stop. The endless gun violence in places like Chicago, Dallas, not to mention Orlando, it has to stop. Enough. Enough is enough."

Many of the issues that plagued the United States four years ago are still present, and it is clear that Paul, Anthony and Wade intend to pool their resources in an effort to create some much-needed change.

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