NEW YORK CITY —Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund today joined with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Spike Lee to launch ‘End Gun Violence,’ a campaign focusing on the 88 Americans who are killed with guns every day and the hundreds more who are injured. The campaign will tip off with the first of several Spike Lee-directed PSAs during ABC and ESPN’s NBA game coverage on Christmas Day. The PSA, which can be viewed here, features Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls), Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers), Grammy-nominated artist Andra Day’s hit song ‘Rise Up’, and gun violence survivors who are part of the Everytown Survivor Network, a program of Everytown for Gun Safety.
The PSA calls on people to join the campaign and tweet using the hashtag #EndGunViolence. You can find more about the campaign, including additional interview footage with all four NBA stars and gun violence survivors, plus steps on how to get involved at Everytown.WeCanEndGunViolence.org.
“All over America people are tired of daily gun violence,” said Carmelo Anthony. “But I’ve spoken with people about this in Baltimore, in New York, and across the United States and I know people are ready for their voices to be heard. 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.”
“I heard over the summer about a shooting that killed a three-year-old girl, and I immediately thought of my three-year-old daughter Riley,” said Steph Curry. “Then I learned the horrible statistic that every day 88 Americans are killed with guns and hundreds more are injured. We’ve come together as a country to solve problems before – gun violence should be no different.”
“I’ll never forget playing basketball in a park with some kids, and a young woman approached me in tears, and told me that her brother had been shot and killed on that same court a year earlier,” said Joakim Noah. “Ultimately it’s about saving lives. There’s just no room for gun violence.”
“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 Chris Paul. “As a father and a professional athlete, I know there are people counting on me to 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.”
“I’m Hyped To Join With The NBA, ESPN, The National Basketball Players Association, Everytown, And My Advertising Agency SpikeDDB To Make A Just And Moral Stand Against Gun Violence In Our Beloved Nation-The United States Of America. History Will Be On Our Side. YA-DIG? SHO-NUFF. By Any Means Necessary,” said Spike Lee.
“I’m proud to be a part of the movement to end gun violence in America and I know we can make a difference by speaking up,” said Grammy-nominated artist Andra Day. “‘Rise Up’ is a song about hope in the face of challenges, and it’s a message we can all embrace when it comes to gun violence. We need to come together and address a crisis that kills 88 Americans every day and injures hundreds more.”
“Athletes, law enforcement, gun violence survivors, moms, community leaders, and millions of Americans all know the impact of gun violence on our country,” said John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We’re proud to join with the NBA, these NBA stars, and Spike Lee to highlight stories of gun violence in America and bring people together to address the problem. This partnership shows the wide range of people who are willing to speak up and be a part of our growing movement.”
“My son Steven dreamed of one day playing in the NBA. You would often see him walking with his basketball in hand,” said Reverend Kim Odom. “But those dreams were shattered when he was 13 years old. He was shot and killed walking home from playing basketball in our neighborhood on October 4, 2007. Our family will never be whole without Steven. But if we can prevent another family from being torn apart by gun violence, we will never stop speaking out. And we are grateful to the NBA and its players for joining us in this movement. Steven would be so honored to know they are taking a stand to help save lives.”
The campaign features 35 gun violence survivors from all across the country, from Boston to Chicago to New York City, and includes stories of everyday gun violence in urban communities to mass shootings in Newtown, Aurora and Tucson. Many of the survivors share personal stories about gun violence and basketball, including the family of Tyrone Lawson, who was shot and killed after a basketball game at Chicago State University in January 2013, Richard Martinez, whose son Christopher was an avid and competitive basketball player before he was killed in Isla Vista in May 2014, and Kim Odom, whose son Steven dreamed of playing in the NBA.
Earlier this month, Everytown released a new video – “We Can End Gun Violence” – featuring a broad range of Americans including survivors of gun violence, moms, President Obama and cultural icons including Julianne Moore, Michael J. Fox, Amy Schumer, Spike Lee, Jennifer Aniston and Sofia Vergara, among others. The video launched at a length of 90 seconds, but has expanded to 26 minutes as more Americans send in their own taped “We Can End Gun Violence” videos.