BA’sbiggest stars came together to share their thoughts on gun violence in a new PSA supported byPresident Barack Obama.
The PSA, titled “End Gun Violence,” aired between games on Christmas Day and was released online Wednesday, The New York Timesreports. All-Stars, including Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry,andChris Paulshared their thoughts on the tragic and increasing incidents involving guns this year.
The NBA teamed up withEverytown 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 mayorMichael Bloomberg, directorSpike Leebrought 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.”
“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 meto 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:
I'm proud of the @NBA for taking a stand against gun violence. Sympathy for victims isn't enough – change requires all of us speaking up.
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.