Lakers Make Juneteenth A Recognized Holiday For Staff; Sending iPads To Various Organizations
Lakers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In the wake of protests surrounding racial injustices in the United States, the Los Angeles Lakers and many other sports organizations have made Juneteenth a team-wide holiday for their staff.

Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the abolishment of slavery in the U.S., as the last of slaves were liberated in the south on June 19, 1865. While it is recognized as a holiday, it is not considered a federal holiday, meaning organizations generally don’t give employees the day off.

However, this is the first year where calls to make it a federal holiday nationwide have begun to pick up steam, and the Lakers are at the forefront of that.

The Lakers are recognizing the holiday by giving their staff the entire day off and encouraging them to educate themselves on the state of racial plight in America. Meanwhile, the team will also spend the day donating iPads to four charities in need to help bridge the technological divide, according to Tania Ganguli of The L.A. Times:

The Lakers will hopefully be making Juneteenth an annual holiday within the organization, as there is no reason it shouldn’t be recognized on the federal level. Perhaps by next year, that will be the case.

L.A. has always prided itself on being a forward thinking organization and has really stuck to that mantra during the ongoing protests. They have stood by their players who took part in these protests, while also supporting Avery Bradley and Dwight Howard as they make a decision on whether or not to play this season.

If the Lakers are committed to being the NBA’s premier franchise, they’ll have to continue to make choices like this even when the lights are not as bright on these issues. Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss has been great about working with players to make them feel like family, and how she has dealt with the last month is just continued proof of that.

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