A group of NBA players opened the ESPYs with a bold statement about violence.

They called on athletes to use their voices to bring attention to violence.

Professional athletes hold a unique position within our culture.

Their job, in its most basic sense, is to be really, really good at a game. For this, top players make tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. Sounds pretty good, right? They're also idolized by men, women, and children around the world, giving them another form of currency at their disposal: influence.

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The subject of police violence is rocking America once again.

Along with the headlines, along with the confusion, anger, and sadness that comes with another set of violent tragedies comes a lot of numbers: the number of people killed by police, how many of them were unarmed, how many were resisting arrest, how many were black.

But what about their names? The names of these victims can all too easily fade into a blur of statistics, data, and cold facts. But these are people, not numbers, and their lives shouldn't be reduced to the worst thing that ever happened to them.

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