NBA, NBPA announce social justice initiatives, plan to resume games on Saturday


The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association released a joint statement Friday announcing that games will resume on Saturday, August 29.

The statement also detailed how the league and its players will move forward with initiatives for social justice and racial equality.

From the NBA and the NBPA:

We had a frank, passionate and productive conversation yesterday between NBA players, coaches and team governors regarding the next steps to continue our collective efforts and actions for social justice and racial equality. . Among others, the participants included representatives of the players and teams of the 13 Orlando teams. All parties have agreed to resume the NBA playoff games on Saturday, August 29, with the understanding that the league and players will work to implement the following commitments:

1. The NBA and its players have agreed to immediately create a coalition for social justice, with representatives of players, coaches and governors, which will focus on a wide range of issues, including improving access to voting, promoting civic engagement and advocating for meaningful reform of the police and criminal justice system.

2. In each city where the league franchise owns and controls arena ownership, team governors will continue to work with local election officials to convert the facility into a voting location for the 2020 general election. to enable a secure in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to COVID. If a deadline is passed, team governors will work with local election officials to find other election-related use for the facility, including, but not limited to, voter registration and signs. of receipt of ballots.

3. The league will work with players and our network partners to create and include commercials in every NBA playoff game dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in national and local elections and raising awareness of the issue. access and opportunities for voters.

These commitments follow months of close collaboration around designing a safe and healthy environment to jumpstart the NBA season, providing a platform to promote social justice, as well as the creation of an NBA Foundation focused on l economic empowerment in the black community.

We look forward to the resumption of the playoffs and continuing to work together – in Orlando and all NBA team markets – to push for meaningful and lasting change.

Following the lead of its players, the NBA postponed games scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday and, after further discussion, also postponed the list of Friday clashes. The decision was taken to make room for important ongoing conversations and action taken to tackle racism and police brutality, push for social reform and empower vulnerable communities to exercise their right to vote in the next elections.

So far, the Charlotte Hornets, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Sacramento Kings have already pledged that their arenas will be used as voting sites as we consider the election. American November. A growing number of teams from other major leagues across the United States have followed suit over the summer – including MLB teams like the LA Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals, the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL and NHL clubs, including New Jersey. The Demons, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals, and most recently the Arizona Coyotes.

The widespread player strike was first initiated by the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, with other clubs in the league’s Orlando bubble quickly following suit as players lobbied for social justice at the after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday. Blake, an unarmed 29-year-old black man, was shot seven times in the back by police officers as he attempted to get into his car with his children inside.

Multiple meetings between players, team owners, the players’ association and league officials over the past few days determined that the playoffs would resume, but more social action was needed in the decision to go ahead. keep playing.

The historic movement to sit down to games has spread throughout the world of sport. The WNBA players, always on the forefront of crucial social issues, also postponed the play of their matches and put on a particularly poignant display of solidarity by joining forces on the field wearing T-shirts spelling Blake’s name on the front with seven balls. painted holes on the back. Athletes from the MLS, MLB and professional tennis also joined the movement on Wednesday, as did those from the NHL on Thursday.


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