LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla .– NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts released a joint statement on Friday announcing that the NBA playoffs will resume on Saturday and the NBA and its players will work together on several initiatives to promote access to the vote and fight social justice, racial inequalities and police reform.
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-focused foundation. economic empowerment in the black community, ”Silver and Roberts said in the statement. “We look forward to the playoffs resuming and continuing to work together – in Orlando and all NBA team markets – to push for meaningful and lasting change.”
These commitments include:
– The immediate creation of a coalition for social justice, comprising representatives among players, coaches and team owners, which will cover a wide range of issues, including increased access to voting, promotion of engagement civic and advocacy for “meaningful reform of the police and criminal justice”.
– Specifically on the voting front, in each NBA city where the league franchise owns and controls its arena ownership, owners will work with local officials to turn these arenas into voting locations for the general election of 2020, giving voters a way to vote in person during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. And, if that is not possible, there will be an effort to continue using these facilities in other ways, including potentially being a place to register voters and receive ballots.
Some NBA teams – including the Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Charlotte Hornets, and Utah Jazz – have already announced that their arenas will be available for use as venues. vote in November.
– The NBA has agreed to work with players and its broadcast partners to create advertisements that will appear in every NBA playoff game to promote greater civic engagement in national and local elections and to raise awareness of access to vote.
The declaration, and the steps announced, came two days after the Milwaukee Bucks opted out of Wednesday’s playoff game against the Orlando Magic in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The Bucks’ decision sparked a movement that not only spread to the 13 other teams in the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World Resort, but also to several other sports, including WNBA, Major League Baseball, Major League. Soccer and the National Hockey League. .
It also follows a meeting between the players and coaches of the 13 teams still making the playoffs and the owners of those teams, as well as Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan, chairman of the NBA Labor Relations Committee, Thursday afternoon at Discuss both the league’s return schedule and finding specific points, like those listed above, to tackle the issues players have spent the past two months in the bubble promoting and to speak with passion.
The teams resumed training on Friday, although several media availabilities canceled early Friday afternoon. There was no indication whether teams scheduled to train later on Friday would do the same.
The games scheduled for Wednesday – Bucks-Magic, the Houston Rockets vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers vs. the Portland Trail Blazers – are expected to be played on Saturday, while the games scheduled for Thursday. – Utah Jazz v Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors v Boston Celtics and LA Clippers v Dallas Mavericks – will be played on Sunday. From there, the playoffs would then resume as previously planned.