NBA star Carmelo Anthony spoke out against gun violence on Wednesday after one of his New York Knicks teammates was the victim of a shooting.
Earlier that day, Knicks small forward Cleanthony Early was shot in the knee during a robbery outside of a Queens strip club. This was actually the second crime committed on a Knicks player this month, with Derrick Williams getting robbed of more than $700,000 worth of jewelry by two as-yet unidentified female thieves.
The suspects in both cases are still at large. Although Anthony stopped short of staying he and his Knicks teammates were being targeted, he did say “we got to do something” about guns in this country and added that “we all are targets, at the end of the day,” while offering his support and concern for Early and his family.
“You feel it. I felt it in Baltimore, in that situation, the Freddie Gray situation, and I’m feeling it now with a teammate of mine that’s much closer,” Anthony said regarding the need for gun control. “It’s just something that we have to do. We’ve got to figure it out. I don’t know how we figure it out. I don’t have the answers. I’m pretty sure a lot of people are working on trying to figure that out. But we have to do something.”
Anthony was one of several NBA stars to appear in a Spike Lee-directed PSA for Everytown for Gun Safety that called for an end to gun violence. The ad aired during high-profile games on Christmas Day.
“Basketball brought me to a different route in my life, but every kid should have an outlet to reach his or her full potential. Using my platform to speak out, I know we can keep guns out of the wrong hands and save lives,” Anthony said in a press release for the PSA.
This spring, Anthony also appeared at a march over the death of Gray, who died while in police custody in April. Anthony was born Brooklyn but raised in West Baltimore, and he told reporters at the time of that protest that he “had to come” because the city was “everybody’s community, it’s America’s community.”
“I understand where everybody is coming from. Our community is fed up. They fed up right now,” he said. “But there’s different ways that you can go about it. I’m here to kind of, you know, lead that to the right path. This is a peaceful march, man. This is my community. This is people that I grew up with. So for me to come back right here and just show that type of leadership … like, we’re together.”
Anthony said the shooting of his teammate really put things in perspective for him. “As athletes – anybody, not just athletes, but people with some type of stature, with some type of money, who have something going on for themselves – we just have to figure out a way to be better, be safer, know our surroundings, know where we’re at, know who is with us, know who is not with us,” he told reporters Wednesday. “It’s easier said than done.”