NBA, NBPA Announce Social Justice Initiatives; NBA Playoffs to Resume on Saturday

AUGUST 26: An empty court and bench is shown with the #WholeNewGame signage following the scheduled start time in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 26, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
AUGUST 26: An empty court and bench is shown with the #WholeNewGame signage following the scheduled start time in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 26, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Photo: Kevin C. Cox (Getty Images)

It’s official: the NBA playoffs will resume on Saturday.

Per ESPN, the league will also work with its players on a number of initiatives centered on social justice, police reform and other important issues impacting our communities.

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“These commitments follow months of close collaboration around designing a safe and healthy environment to restart the NBA season, providing a platform to promote social justice, as well as creating an NBA Foundation focused on economic empowerment in the Black community,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts said in a joint statement. “We look forward to the resumption of the playoffs and continuing to work together—in Orlando and in all NBA team markets—to push for meaningful and sustainable change.”

These initiatives include the following:

  • Establishing a social justice coalition among players, coaches and team owners that will address “voting access, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform,” in addition to other issues of concern.
  • In every city where an NBA team owns and controls its arena, owners will collaborate with local officials to transform those arenas into voting centers for the upcoming presidential election in November—similar to what the Detroit Lions announced earlier this week. And if that option is unavailable, owners will instead use the arena for voter registration and/or to receive ballots. The Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks are among teams that have already announced that their areas will be used as voting locations.
  • The NBA will work its players and broadcast partners to develop advertising that will air during each NBA playoff game. These ads will “promote greater civic engagement in national and local elections, and to raise awareness around voting access.”
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Teams returned to practice on Friday, though several teams have made themselves unavailable for media inquiries.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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DISCUSSION

I love the idea of turning sports centers into voting locations. I want the same for all government buildings (courthouses, licenses bureaus, and libraries.)