New Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony is a future Hall of Famer who has accomplished nearly everything there is to do on the court. But what can be forgotten is the work he has done off the court as well, for which he was recently honored for.
The NBA recently created a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award to honor those using their platform in order to fight against social and racial inequalities. Anthony was named the inaugural recipient of the award with Abdul-Jabbar himself presenting it to the new Laker this summer.
For Anthony, receiving this award is on par with any other accolade. In an interview with Yana Grebenyuk of US Magazine, Anthony said that receiving the social justice award is one that he is most proud of:
One of the awards I’m most proud of to date is the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion earlier this summer. I’m lucky to be part of a league full of players who are equally as passionate about making a difference, but I was truly humbled to be recognized by Kareem, who’s a legend in his own right. It’s my hope that this award encourages others to continue to do their part in propelling equality and justice for all.
For many athletes, what they do on the court is only a part of what they bring to the table and Anthony is one of those who truly wants to make a difference off the court as well. One of the biggest endeavors Anthony is involved with is the Social Change Fund, which he started along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul.
Anthony’s off-court work hasn’t always been as recognized as some others across the league, including his new teammate LeBron James, but it clearly means a lot to him. A lot of players came from nothing to make it to where they’re at now and it is important to give back and make real changes in their community.
The award itself being named after Abdul-Jabbar makes it mean even more as Kareem has long been one of the most intelligent and outspoken athletes against the injustices of the world. For someone of his stature to recognize Anthony’s contributions is sure to make it that much more special.
Anthony believes James’ experience has improved his leadership
Another player on the Lakers who has done a ton in the community throughout the course of his career is LeBron James. Anthony recently discussed how James’ experience has helped him grow as a leader.
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