Ashley Landis / Associated Press
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association released a joint statement on Friday confirming that the playoffs will resume on Saturday. The declaration also outlines the initiatives the two sides will work on together to advance the social justice movement:
Among the initiatives agreed upon, the league and the players “will immediately establish a coalition for social justice, with representatives of players, coaches and governors, which will focus on a wide range of issues, including improving access voting, promoting civic engagement and advocating for meaningful reform of the police and criminal justice system. “
The second initiative requires team governors to work with local election officials in cities where the “league franchise owns and controls arena ownership” to convert these facilities into an election facility for the general election of 2020 “to enable a safe in-person voting option. For communities vulnerable to COVID.”
Team governors should work with local officials to find another “election-related use” for the facility, including voter registration and receiving ballot signs, if the deadline to put in place. place voting in an arena is outdated.
The final initiative will see the league and players working with broadcast partners to “create and include commercials” in each remaining playoff game that will be dedicated to “promoting greater civic engagement in national and local elections. and awareness of voter access and opportunities. “
Players, coaches and staff continued to protest for social justice on Friday, the third consecutive day of the NBA playoffs were arrested.
The Milwaukee Bucks were the first team to decide not to play games on Wednesday as they stayed in their locker room as Game 5 of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic was supposed to begin.
Milwaukee’s move came amid ongoing protests after Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 23.
By ESPN Ramona Shelburne and Tim BontempsThe Bucks players spoke to Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes on Wednesday after refusing to play their game to ask what they could do to impact real social change.
“They were very interested in a call to action,” Barnes said. “They wanted something tangible that they could do in the short and long term. They wanted the walkout [from Wednesday’s game against the Orlando Magic] be step 1. “
After players from the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets vote not to play later that same day, the NBA and NBPA jointly ad all matches would be postponed and rescheduled.
While there was speculation the playoffs might not be over, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that the players voted to continue playing at one point in a conference call Thursday.
The NBA released a statement after announcing Thursday’s playoff games had been postponed, but the league had “hopes to resume” play on Friday or Saturday:
Following the players’ decision to go on strike, NBA employees followed suit. ESPN Malika Andrews reported Friday that about 100 NBA employees will be leaving league offices in solidarity with NBA and WNBA players advocating for social change.
NBA referees walked Thursday on the campus of Walt Disney World Resort to protest racism and police brutality.