ORLANDO (NEWS 1130) — The NBA will resume playoff games Saturday and establish a social justice coalition following anti-racism protests.
Additionally, the league will work with players and partners to create advertising spots in each NBA playoff game dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in national and local elections and raising awareness around voter access and opportunity.
Milwaukee Bucks players sparked the postponement of games across the NBA starting Wednesday. The players refused to play games in protest of racial injustice following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.
Joint NBA and NBPA statement: pic.twitter.com/EFp6fG9oZs
— NBA (@NBA) August 28, 2020
The players’ actions spread to other leagues, including the WNA, MLS, and the NHL.
“We had a candid, impassioned and productive conversation yesterday between NBA players, coaches and team governors regarding next steps to further our collective efforts and actions in support of social justice and racial equality,” says a statement from NBPA executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
“Among others, the attendees included player and team representatives of all 13 teams in Orlando. All parties agreed to resume NBA playoff games on Saturday, Aug. 29 with the understanding that the league together with the players will work to enact the following commitments.”
The social justice coalition will have representatives from players, coaches and governors and will focus on issues including increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform.
As well, in every city where the league franchise owns and controls the arena property, team governors will continue to work with local elections officials to convert the facility into a voting location for the 2020 general election to allow for a safe in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to COVID-19.
The league says if a deadline has passed, team governors will work with local elections officials to find another election-related use for the facility, including but not limited to voter registration and ballot receiving boards.
“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,” says the league.
“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.”