Statement from the Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis, Tenn. - The Memphis Grizzlies stand squarely in opposition to racism and injustice. We condemn all acts of racial violence. It is engrained in our culture and part of our ethos, and we are going to build on established initiatives in our community.

With Memphis’s history as a backdrop, the Grizzlies have been the host and facilitator of some powerful discussions on the Intersection of Race and Sport in conjunction with the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration Game. In the coming days, we will be collating and posting videos from the most recent forums and symposiums. Created in partnership with the National Civil Rights Museum, we hope making these meaningful sessions available will serve as a way to further educate and inform through the words and experiences of our Sports Legacy Award recipients and members of the NBA family. We will also will be working with the National Civil Rights Museum to facilitate and amplify conversations specific to this moment in time.

We’ve been committed to the practice of mentorship since 2004, and in moments like these we want to create a safe environment where participants in our mentorship programs can have an open and honest dialogue with each other. As such, the Memphis Grizzlies and its community partners, including the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation, will in the days and weeks ahead coordinate a series of virtual sessions for our Mentors and Mentees to discuss recent events and their effects both here in Memphis and across the country.

We looked internally to understand what additional ways we could support all members of our organization, and recognized that under our current time off policy, staff may have to make a financial sacrifice in order to exercise their right to vote. Knowing fundamentally that change happens at the ballot box, we’ve created a new category of Paid Time Off (PTO) to be used specifically in order to vote so that during local and national elections our staff will never have to make a decision between voting or incurring a financial loss.

Finally, we will work with the National Basketball Coaches Association and support the initiatives they put forward in our community.

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