NBA officials and the Players Association have met to determine the best course of action to continue raising awareness in the fight against racial injustice and other social issues as the league continues to move toward resuming its season.
One of the biggest concerns expressed by players for the 2019-20 NBA season restart on the Walt Disney World Campus in Orlando, Florida, is that they would be actively providing a distraction from all the efforts being made by the African-American community amid challenging times.
Although the NBA has long supported the player’s right to protest and use their platform to bring attention to the real issues at hand, there are those that feel efforts have largely been one-sided and more must be done on if they hope to spark a true change.
As a result, commissioner Adam Silver and chief operating officer Mark Tatum were among the notable league officials to meet with the NBPA, headed by executive director Michele Roberts, president Chris Paul and first vice president Andre Iguodala to come up with a plan to address the social unease in the United States.
“The issues of systemic racism and police brutality in our country need to end,” Paul said in a statement. “As a union of NBA players and as a league, it is our job to use our collective platform to both put a spotlight on those issues and work to effect change.
“As players, we have taken a leadership role when it comes to using our voices and implementing practical solutions, but there is much work ahead both in Orlando and long-term to continue the momentum and bring about real, long-lasting change to our society.”
Silver added: “The league and the players are uniquely positioned to have a direct impact on combating systemic racism in our country, and we are committed to collective action to build a more equal and just society.
“A shared goal of our season restart will be to use our platform in Orlando to bring attention to these important issues of social justice. We look forward to engaging in ongoing conversations with the players and their Association about our joint leaguewide initiative and thank Michele, Chris and the other players for their leadership toward creating meaningful, long-term change.”
Among the notable topics of conversation were plans to increase African-American representation throughout the league while also providing more financial opportunities for Black-owned and operated businesses. While there have not been any details of a finalized plan being put in place, comments made by Paul and Silver indicate they are optimistic about a potential solution.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the most active teams in their efforts to address the issues of systemic racism. Avery Bradley and Dwight Howard were among the most outspoken players in voicing the concerns over restarting the season while there is still plenty of work to be done off the court.
Meanwhile, Danny Green had taken part in the peaceful protests in downtown L.A., while LeBron James announced his plans to spearhead a voting rights organization to help combat voter suppression.
The Lakers have also taken action of their own with the hiring of Dr. Karida Brown as the director of racial equity & action to help the team in their efforts to promote change within the community.
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