At the 2016 ESPYs, Carmelo Anthony called on LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul to help him a deliver a message that urged social change. Melo’s remained active in social issues ever since. In an interview with The Undefeated, he was asked about the current political climate in the NFL and about his relationship with Colin Kaepernick. See below for his quotes:

The Undefeated: What do you think about what is going on in the NFL right now with the protests during the national anthem in hopes to gain awareness on police brutality against black men, and why haven’t those protests transferred over to the NBA?

 

Carmelo Anthony: In the NBA, we are allowed [to speak]. [NBA commissioner] Adam Silver does a great job of allowing us to speak. But also, we made it cool to step up to the challenge and almost put the pressure on the NBA to back us. We’re in this together. They say we’re in this together, so you can’t reprimand somebody for speaking out on what they believe in.

 

It is something where the NFL hasn’t gravitated to that yet. It’s a long shot. There is a deeper, deeper, bigger business in the NFL than there is in the NBA when it comes to those type of things. … I think what the players are doing, they have to continue doing that. They shouldn’t be threatened by owners saying, ‘I’ll take your contract away from you.’ We shouldn’t be in that league if that’s how we will be treated.

 

There is a different way that owners should go about it. They should communicate with the players. I thought early on, [Dallas Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones did a good job of kneeling with his players. And then after that [saying he would suspend players who knelt during the national anthem], that defeated the whole purpose. You have to be as one.

 

The Undefeated: Did you get a chance to talk to or get to know former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick while you were in New York City?

 

Carmelo Anthony: I never met him. I talked to him via text. I talked to him via e-mail and exchanged a couple messages. But I am going to try to get with him. I love what he is doing. I’m his No. 1 supporter. I support him differently because I’ve seen it from the beginning. I was the one he reached out to in the beginning when he was putting it all in play. To see it come into fruition and to see him follow through with it, I got a different respect from him.

h/t The Undefeated