NBA, NBPA Announce Resumption of Playoffs, Initiatives to Fight Racism
On Friday, the NBA and NBPA not only announced the resumption of the postseason, but the initiatives they will be taking to promote social justice in their continued to fight against racism.
“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 the 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.”
The playoffs will resume this afternoon when the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Orlando Magic in Game 5 of their first round series. The defending champion Toronto Raptors will kick off their second round matchup with the Boston Celtics tomorrow afternoon.
On the social issues front, the NBA and NBPA have called for an immediate establishment of a social justice coalition which will fight for “meaningful police and criminal justice reform.” Moreover, NBA owners will work with their city officials to transform their arenas into temporary voting locations for the upcoming November presidential elections.
All of these new initiatives come off the heels of multiple meetings that took place over the past 48 hours.
“It was awesome,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers, commenting on the Wednesday night meeting between the players and coaches. “And I don’t even know that that meeting went well. That meeting had a lot of anger, a lot of voices, a lot of emotion. I think I’ve learned long ago that emotion is great, being emotional sometimes is not. [You] know what I mean?
“But it was out there. We got to hear what people felt and thought. So to me, that was very powerful. That’s what I told our guys, the players, that, ‘This is a powerful moment. You guys are learning how powerful you can be,’ and that I was proud of them. But then to come back that next morning, it was amazing, the difference. They got it out, then they could talk. And then the third meeting, now we could work. I just thought the progression of that was absolutely perfect.”
The players definitely deserve a lot of credit for refusing to remain silent in the face of racial unrest in the country. They refuse to simply shut up and dribble.
“I have to give a lot of credit to our players,” NBPA President Chris Paul said. “It’s been a hard time for everyone. The communication we’ve been having is amazing. I think everyone saw guys just needing to reset, to refocus. And that’s what we did.”
The NBA and its players continue to fight the good fight.