Seattle rap duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis took advantage of their win at the American Music Awards Sunday night to make a political statement.
“Now that I’m sitting here in front of millions of people, I’d like to address something extremely important to me,” Macklemore began.
The two were accepting their award for favorite rap/hip-hop album for “The Heist” via satellite from Miami.
“Due to the fact that we are in Florida tonight accepting this award, I want to acknowledge Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of kids each year that are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it,” said the rapper, who also shared a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. “‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'”
Trayvon Martin was an unarmed black teenager whose death set off protests nationwide by people who believed he was racially profiled by former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was acquitted in the fatal shooting of Martin.
“This is really happening. These are our friends, our neighbors, our peers, and our fans, and it’s time that we look out for the youth and fight against racism and the laws that protect it,” Macklemore concluded.
Producer Ryan Lewis just offered a thank you to friends, family and the fans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.