Carmelo Anthony joins protest in hometown Baltimore

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, center, marches to Baltimore City Hall to protest the death of Freddie Gray, Thursday, April 30, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

BALTIMORE – Among the hundreds marching in Baltimore in support of Freddie Gray was New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, a native of the city.

“It was only right for me to come down here,” Anthony said. “This is one Baltimore, man. Now is the time to rebuild this city back up. There is no need to tear it down.”

Carmelo, who was born in Brooklyn, moved to Baltimore when he was 9. He called the march “peaceful,” and said that he understands where protesters are coming from.

“We’re being heard. We’ve just got to be careful to do it the right way. We can’t become violent … we’ve got to be patient,” Anthony said.

Carmelo sported a shirt with the words “Cassius Clay” on it during the march.

“My message is to calm down. Let’s just be kind of patient,’’ Anthony told CNN. “That’s easier said than done, to be patient, but we have to be patient to get what we want.”

“Our community is fed up. They are fed up right now, but there are different ways you can go about it. I’m here to lead that kind of toward the right path.”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh, his players and former star linebacker Ray Lewis visited two Baltimore schools Thursday to help urge calm.

Violence escalated Monday after the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died of injuries while in police custody.

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