Brooklyn Nets to Celebrate Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This Monday, Jan. 18
Team will host free, virtual pregame panel discussing athlete activism around social justice and racial equality with Deshaun Watson, Ros Gold-Onwude, Ally Love, and the Nets and Barclays Center’s own Jackie Wilson II and Adina Erwin
BROOKLYN – The Brooklyn Nets will celebrate the life and lasting legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this Monday, Jan. 18 when the team hosts the Milwaukee Bucks at Barclays Center. Prior to tipoff, the Nets will host a virtual pregame panel discussion with Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, sports broadcaster Ros Gold-Onwude, BSE Executive Director of Diversity & Inclusion Jackie Wilson II and Barclays Center General Manager Adina Erwin. The conversation will be moderated by Nets in-arena host Ally Love and focus on topics like athlete activism surrounding social justice and racial equality, and navigating the sports and entertainment industry as a person of color.
The panel will be streamed over Zoom beginning at 6 p.m. EST. The Zoom link can be found here, and will be accessible through all Nets social channels. Panel participants include:
- Houston Texans quarterback, business owner and philanthropist, Deshaun Watson, who guided the Texans to consecutive division titles in 2018 and 2019 and led the NFL in passing yards during the 2020 season. He has received Pro Bowl honors in each of his three seasons as Houston's primary starter and is one of four NFL quarterbacks with a career passer rating over 100.
- Sports broadcaster Ros Gold-Onwude covers the NBA on ESPN and ESPN Radio, and is a recurring host on ESPN’s First Take. She recently joined forces with Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman's Thirty-Five Ventures as one of the faces of their sports business show, The Boardroom, and also served as an analyst for the 2020 WNBA’s exclusive streaming broadcasts on Twitter.
- BSE Global Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion Jackie Wilson II oversees the organization’s D&I strategies and initiatives, and helps develop and execute BSE’s overall social justice vision. He began his career as a litigation associate at the Graham Curtin law firm, before becoming General Counsel at All Pro Sports & Entertainment, Inc., where he spent five years as a certified player agent, spearheading the social responsibility and community efforts of professional athletes, before founding his own company, Nova Fitness Innovation.
- Barclays Center General Manager Adina Erwin joined Barclays Center from TD Garden in Boston with more than 25 years of experience in the sports and entertainment industry. Prior to Boston, Erwin spent 15 years at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta. She has received numerous accolades including VenuesNow’s Women of Influence Award and the Ray Ward Award for extraordinary contributions to IAVM’s Venue Management School, as well as serving as the chair of the Board of Trustees for the IAVM Foundation.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to fighting for racial equality and his messages of respect and justice still resonate today,” John Abbamondi, CEO of BSE Global said. “In this important time of racial reckoning, we are honored to use our platform to discuss the powerful movement Dr. King helped lead, and inspire our fans to be change agents. We’re committed to moving Dr. King’s vision forward in the fight for social justice in America, and will continue using our unique position in Brooklyn to push for equality for all.”
The Nets will celebrate Dr. King throughout the day with other activations, including players wearing Nike Martin Luther King Jr. Day warmup Dri-FIT shirts featuring words from Dr. King’s timeless ‘I Have a Dream’ speech: “Now is the time to make justice a reality for all.” Additionally, the Nets will share videos on their social channels featuring Nets players and the Nets Kids Dance Team, featuring a special tribute to Dr. King’s speech. Prior to tipoff, Nets player DeAndre Jordan will give a welcome message to fans watching the game at home, and Broadway star and social justice activist, Ashley De La Rosa, will perform the national anthem.
The Nets organization will also participate in various community initiatives throughout the weekend. On Sunday, Jan. 17 the Brooklyn Nets Basketball Academy is hosting a free, virtual clinic for youth ages 9-17 as part of PeacePlayers International’s MLK Jr., Day event, “5 Cities for P.E.A.C.E.” For more information and to register for the clinic, click here. Additionally, BSE Global is partnering with Food Bank for New York City on Monday, Jan. 18 to host a virtual Day of Service for employees in honor of MLK Jr., Day.
Monday’s game is presented by Ciroc and will be broadcast live on TNT at 7:30 p.m. ET. WFAN is the official radio partner of the Brooklyn Nets.