NBA players have been searching for more ways to contribute to the fight against systemic racism beyond messages on the backs of their jerseys and in media availabilities, leading to a stoppage in play on Wednesday and Thursday.
On Friday, National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts and commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement outlining how the players and the league intend to work together as games resume.
As part of the agreement to restart play on Saturday, the two parties outlined three commitments:
- Creating a “social justice coalition” comprised of players, coaches, and governors to work on advocating for the reform of police and criminal justice policies, increasing voting access, and “promoting civic engagement.”
- Turning NBA arenas in cities where the team controls the property into polling places for the 2020 general election. Where that’s not possible for November’s election, the statement says that team governors will work to find other “election-related” uses for their arenas, like to help increase voter registration.
- Creating advertising during playoff games designed to promote “greater civic engagement in national and local elections.”
Roberts and Silver said in a joint statement that the conversation between players, coaches, and team governors on Thursday was “candid, impassioned, and productive.”
“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.”