Carmelo Anthony Calls Push for Social Justice a ‘Lifelong Fight’

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“I’ve dealt with it all. Have I ever experienced police brutality before? Yes,” Anthony said, adding: “Whether it was being pulled over, being racially profiled, or being in my neighborhood and being on my block and the police jumping out of their cars and snatching you up and throwing you on the sidewalk and make you sit there — I’ve experienced that.”

Asked if he supported the movement to defund the police, Anthony said he wanted to learn more.

“Have I thought about it? Yes. Have I come to a solution? No, I haven’t,” Anthony said. He added, “If we don’t understand the root of policies and police and where that stems from, then going out there and trying to speak on defunding the police would not make sense.”

He continued: “At the end of the day, do we need police? Yes, we need police, but we need them to do their job or we need them to do it the right way and we need to hold them accountable for that the same way we are held accountable for the things we do as well.”

Anthony has rarely spoken about President Trump, but in June, after the National Guard and other law enforcement tear-gassed peaceful protesters outside the White House, he said in an Instagram post that the president had “declared war on the American people.”

But Anthony said that he was not interested in getting involved in the presidential campaign. A few other players have, such as James, who has publicly supported Joseph R. Biden Jr., and Paul, who signed a letter published this week calling on Biden to name a Black woman as his running mate.

“I’m not a politician so I don’t want to get involved in politics,” Anthony said. “Where I will get involved in is my community and the future of my community and where my community is at right now.”

Issues motivate Anthony more than specific candidates, from his telling.

“I want what’s right for my people,” he said. “If you’re a Republican and it’s right for my people, then it is what it is. If you’re a Democrat and it’s right for my people, then it is what it is. I’m not in the business of picking a side just to pick a side.”

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