The NBA’s biggest stars came together to share their thoughts on gun violence in a new PSA supported by President Barack Obama.
The PSA, titled “End Gun Violence,” aired between games on Christmas Day and was released online Wednesday, The New York Times reports. All-Stars, including Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry, and Chris Paul shared their thoughts on the tragic and increasing incidents involving guns this year.
The NBA teamed up with Everytown for Gun Safety, a non-profit organization designed to fight gun violence through political policies against the National Rifle Association. Originally led by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, director Spike Lee brought the non-profit and the NBA together to help create the video.
In the 30-second video, Curry and Anthony share personal stories on gun violence followed by mothers and siblings who have lost loved ones. The video takes a sentimental approach to gun violence, a move where “gun control” or ideas about policies weren’t explicitly mentioned. The NBA also released statements clarifying the videos are meant to share awareness and education, not a political agenda.
Speaking with Newsday on Thursday, the New York Knicks’ Anthony says he participated in the PSA to draw attention to the accessibility of gun purchases, a problem he believes increases violence.
“You can go around the corner and get a gun, you can go to this person to get a gun,” Anthony says in the PSA. “It’s just too easy, it’s too accessible. And it’s going to be like that until we decide as people to fight against that.”
“That was big for me,” Anthony said after Knicks practice on Thursday. “As soon as I got the call, I committed to it. I know what that’s like and I know how big this cause can be. For the NBA to get behind something like that, especially at this time, how big of a brand that the NBA is, it was only right for me to get in there and do that.”
“It’s good to kind of be that role model,” Anthony said, “and let [kids] know not just to get on the court and go to school, but put the guns down.”
Paul also shared his thoughts on the PSA.
“Throughout my career in New Orleans, Los Angeles, and traveling around the country, I’ve seen that gun violence is ending more than just lives — it’s ending hope for a lot of people,” said the Clippers’ Paul. “As a father and a professional athlete, I know there are people counting on me to send the right message and set an example. So I want to lead others to raise ourselves up from gun violence and save lives. I’m proud to spread the message that we can accomplish an America free from gun violence.”
President Obama showed his support for the PSA in a statement via Twitter:
In total, there have been over 300 mass shootings this year, including the Charleston Church shooting that resulted in the deaths of nine African-Americans and the recent San Bernardino incident that left 14 people dead.
Lee, who is also on the creative council for Everytown for Gun Safety, interviewed each player and members of the Everytown Survivor Network on their experiences surrounding gun violence. He also brought to light the perils of gun violence in Chicago in his film, Chiraq, released this year.
You can watch them here.
21 Of President Barack Obama's Best Photos Of 2015
1. JANUARY: President Obama delivers the State of the Union address with the support of vice president Joe Biden. Obama gained mass support after his joke about winning both terms.Source:Pete Souza 1 of 21
2. JANUARY: President Barack Obama has an adorable moment with Akira Cooper at the Community Children's Center, one of the nation's oldest Head Start providers, in Lawrence, Kan.Source:Pete Souza 2 of 21
3. JANUARY: President Obama greets Prime Minister Narendra Modi upon arrival at Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi, India.Source:Pete Souza 3 of 21
4. JANUARY: President Barack Obama greets neighbors after visiting a model home at the Nueva Villas at Beverly, a single-family housing development owned by local nonprofit organization Chicanos Por La Causa Inc. in Phoenix, Ariz.Source:Pete Souza 4 of 21
5. FEBRUARY: President Barack Obama fakes a jump shot during an Affordable Care Act video taping for BuzzFeed in the White House Library. The video went viral thanks to jokes about his presidency and ultra-cool swag.Source:Pete Souza 5 of 21
6. FEBRUARY: Obama pals around with one of his biggest supporters, vice president Joe Biden. While he chose not to run in the 2016 presidential election, Obama said he would be in his corner.Source:Pete Souza 6 of 21
7. FEBRUARY: President Barack Obama talks with 13-year-old student Vidal Chastanet as "Humans of New York" founder Brandon Stanton photographs during a blog interview in the Oval Office. Obama was greatly inspired by Chastanet's comments on the popular "Humans of New York" Instagram page, where he shared his troubles finding courage in school and and life despite living in a dangerous area of Brooklyn, NY.Source:Pete Souza 7 of 21
8. MARCH: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama join hands with Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. as they lead the walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches, in Selma, Ala., March 7, 2015. Malia and Sasha Obama join hands with their grandmother, Marian Robinson.Source:Pete Souza 8 of 21
9. MARCH: Obama is a classic man as he puts on a green tie in observance of St. Patrick's Day.Source:Pete Souza 9 of 21
10. MARCH: President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the event to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala.Source:Pete Souza 10 of 21
11. APRIL: During the Correspondents' Dinner, his anger translator - played by Key & Peele comedian Keegan-Michael Key - helped Obama get out his biggest frustrations.Source:Pete Souza 11 of 21
12. APRIL: President Obama arrives in Jamaica to meet with the 15-member Caribbean Community. His trip marked a first for the sitting president and second since the country's independence.Source:Pete Souza 12 of 21
13. APRIL: Obama speaks with newly appointed Attorney General Loretta Lynch in the Oval Office.Source:Pete Souza 13 of 21
14. JUNE: President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are seen talking during the president's trip to the G7Summit in Bavaria, Germany.Source:Pete Souza 14 of 21
15. JUNE: President Obama sings "Amazing Grace" during the eulogy for South Carolina state senator and Rev. Clementa Pinckney during Pinckney's funeral service. Clementa was one of the nine victims who died after suspected shooter Dylann Roof entered the AME church and opened fire.Source:Getty 15 of 21
16. SEPTEMBER: President Obama is featured on the popular show "Running Wild With Bear Grylls." Obama took the trip to highlight the importance of climate control.Source:Pete Souza 16 of 21
17. SEPTEMBER: The First Couple serve as "love goals" at the White House's state dinner for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan. Obama and Xi announced an agreement on controlling climate change and a mutual outlook on cyber security.Source:Getty 17 of 21
18. OCTOBER: President Obama meets with Ahmed Mohamed, the student who was detained by Texas police for his homemade clock. The president stood by the teen, who many believe was the victim of Islamophobia.Source:Getty 18 of 21
19. NOVEMBER: President Obama issues a warning to his critics who "pop off" at his policies towards Syrian refugees. Speaking at the OP 21 United Nations conference on climate change, Obama welcomed his Republican critics to the White House to lay down their own policies. No one has responded.Source:Getty 19 of 21
20. DECEMBER: President Obama addresses the public from the Oval Office regarding the San Bernardino shooting.Source:Getty 20 of 21
21. DECEMBER: All grown up! The First Family, including Obama's mother-in-law Marian Robinson, is seen at the White House's national Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 2.Source:Getty 21 of 21