No less than former President Bill Clinton weighed in on the opening of ESPN’s ESPY awards Wednesday night, as the broadcast began with a solemn plea by a superstar quartet for an end to racial profiling and gun violence, and a call for all professional athletes to “do better.”

Video of the opening segment is everywhere; fortunately, there’s also a transcript.

While Chris Paul recited a list of black men (and a boy) whose names have become inseparable from the Black Lives Matter movement, Dwayne Wade also acknowledged gun violence in Chicago, where the Chicago Tribune reports that 43 people were shot over the previous weekend, bringing the total number of shootings so far this year to 2,100, an increase of 700 over last year.

Of course, naming all of the gun homicide victims in Chicago would have taken up a good chunk of the broadcast, but surely the names of the police shot in Dallas could have been squeezed in. James did call for his peers to renounce all violence, after all.

The words “powerful message” have been pretty firmly attached to the video already, but it’s also a bit of a mess. The system is broken, America is plagued with injustice, distrust, and anger, and the urgency for change is at an all-time high. So … do better?

It turns out that words were inadequate — quite the realization after 7-and-a-half years.

For some, the opening of the ESPYs did inspire real change.


WATCH: Isaiah Crowell apologizes; Will donate first game check to Dallas Fallen Officers Foundation

NFL’s Isaiah Crowell posts, deletes pic of ISIS-like execution of police officer

Geraldo Rivera thinks LeBron James should wear a “Be a Better Father” T-shirt instead of #ICantBreathe