SOURCE: Aid Still Required

May 18, 2008 21:03 ET

LeBron James Joins Darfur Outcry Issued by NBA Players and Aid Still Required.Org

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - May 18, 2008) - In an interview aired today on ESPN (, NBA Superstar LeBron James spoke out for the first time joining NBA players, Aid Still, and others in calling for action to help the millions suffering in Darfur. "At the end of the day we're talking about human rights," he said. "And people should understand that human rights and people's lives are in jeopardy."

James has been questioned by the press during the past year for not signing then-teammate Ira Newble's letter to China President Hu Jintao. The letter, which called on the Chinese government to use its leverage with the Khartoum government to help put an end to the atrocities being committed in Darfur, was signed by 12 Cleveland Cavaliers. James abstained.

"I didn't sign the letter right then and there so now it's blown up," James said. "No one heard my side of the story, but automatically it's 'LeBron didn't sign the letter, he doesn't care.' But for me to try to create awareness of the situation that's going on in Darfur and other places, for me, in the position I am, I should speak on it and I am gonna speak on it."

Upwards of 400,000 people have been killed, 2.5 million, and countless human rights grievances have been leveled by the victims. Last May, Newble and Los Angeles-based non-profit Aid Still teamed up to work with 20 NBA players who wanted to speak out about the atrocities. Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Steve Nash, Grant Hill, Baron Davis, Emeka Okafor and Players' Association President Derek Fisher have taped public service announcements appealing to fans to join them and get involved with Aid Still's restoration and aid efforts in Darfur. (Bryant's PSA can be viewed at

James is looking to take the outreach a step further. "My voice is powerful," he said. "Kobe Bryant's voice is powerful, other athletes' voices are powerful. We're all going to Beijing, it's going to be brought up, and we should have a game plan as a unit, not just myself and Kobe Bryant. It should be all 12, 15 guys, the coaching staff, the whole board. We should have a game plan on how we'll affect the situation."

Aid Still will debut a new Darfur PSA this week featuring 11 NBA players.

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    Aid Still
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