This Week in Black Twitter: Obama discusses race relations, activism and sports collide at ESPYs

Welcome back to This Week in Black Twitter, your weekly digest of the happenings on Black Twitter and cultural conversations on the web. Topics will span the gamut — with pop culture, politics, sports, lifestyles and everything in between. This week: Obama discusses race relations and community policing, activism and sports collide at the ESPYs, and #AllLivesDidntMatter gives a mini-history lesson.

1. President Barack Obama discussed race relations and community policing in a town hall the week after the death of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and the officers in Dallas.

During the conversation, which highlighted Baltimore-area mothers, Obama urged for better police training to avoid "implicit biases" and reflected on a moment when he faced racial prejudice.


Sterling's son Cameron, who broke down crying during a news conference, pleaded with the president to "unite all the races."

Critics of the event found it didn't dive deep enough into the systemic issues within police departments and the officer-involved killings of black men. Some argued it lacked the substance of an honest conversation.

The televised discussion came a day after Obama held a meeting with prominent activists and members of law enforcement about police violence and accountability, which DeRay Mckesson called "productive."

2. During the ESPY Awards, NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James spoke out against gun violence and social injustice.

"The racial profiling has to stop. The shoot-to-kill mentality has to stop. Not seeing the value of black and brown bodies has to stop. But also the retaliation has to stop. The endless gun violence in places like Chicago, Dallas, not to mention Orlando, it has to stop. Enough. Enough is enough," Wade said as his peers stood beside him.

James added: "It's time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, 'What are we doing to create change?'"

Paul mentioned athletes who stood up for causes such as John Carlos, who raised his fist during the Olympics in 1968.

And while athletes have taken a stance against police brutality before (like when James wore an "I can't breathe" T-shirt" or the St. Louis Rams entered the field with their hands up), activism in sports hasn't always gone hand in hand.

Salon's Nathaniel Friedman explains: "Athletes rarely, if ever, talk like this. They mince words and dance around issues; when they do speak out, it's generally in broad strokes. And you can hardly blame them for their reticence. When an athlete takes a stand on a divisive issue, he's often dismissively told to 'stick to sports.'"


With their call to action, these four players are chucking that retort and embracing their role in the movement as public figures.

Speaking of that crowd...

3. #AllLivesDidntMatter gives a mini-history lesson to people who respond to #BlackLivesMatter with #AllLivesMatter.

In 1921, a neighborhood nicknamed Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Okla., was looted and set on fire during a race riot sparked by the accusation of a black man assaulting a white woman, according to Al Jazeera America.