(CNN) — Ten-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony says gun violence has gotten “worse” since the 2012 shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin and that young activists are the key to bringing gun control to America.
“Now, we’re actually seeing it live on our fingertips, so we feel compelled that we have to do something, and I think that’s the uproar,” he said in an interview with CNN’s Van Jones on “The Van Jones show,” which airs Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.
Trayvon, 17, was fatally shot by a volunteer neighborhood watchman in Florida, sparking national outrage and calls for stricter gun control. After the shooting, Anthony said he met with the teen’s family because he knew the “hurt that they were going through at that time.”
Raised in inner-city Baltimore, Anthony experienced drug culture and police brutality firsthand, he said.
“You almost become immune to that when you was growing up,” he said on CNN.
Now, as a world-renowned NBA star, he’s taken time to reflect on his trials as a teenager, he said.
“I’m able to step back and see exactly what I was going through, dealing with,” Anthony said. “I feel like I have to do something to help that.”
The Atlanta Hawks player reportedly said he helped pay to send 4,500 Baltimore kids to the March for Our Lives, a rally in March in Washington organized in response to the massacre a month earlier at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Asked by Jones about his faith in young people to spark tangible change, Anthony said youth “can make things happen. I think a lot of people are tired of hearing … the adults talk.”
“When you hear the youth speak,” Anthony said, “it’s a little bit more touching, and people feel obligated to get something done.”