NBA and NBPA advance talks on social justice efforts
NEW YORK – Yesterday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum, NBA Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Oris Stuart and other league officials met with NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts, NBPA President Chris Paul, NBPA First Vice President Andre Iguodala and several players to further advance the league’s collective response to the social justice issues in our country. This meeting was part of ongoing discussions between the NBA and the Players Association to address the game’s role in facilitating solutions to the persistent inequities plaguing the Black community.
The NBA and NBPA are both committed to fostering an environment that encourages candid conversations between players and league and team leadership and finding tangible and sustainable ways to address racial inequality across the country. The group that met yesterday agreed in principle that the goal of the season restart in Orlando will be to take collective action to combat systemic racism and promote social justice. Conversations also covered strategies to increase Black representation across the NBA and its teams, ensure greater inclusion of Black-owned and operated businesses across NBA business activities, and form an NBA foundation to expand educational and economic development opportunities across the Black community.
While specific plans were not finalized, there was broad alignment about the direction and priorities of the efforts, especially with regard to supporting players’ activism and leadership. In recognition that long-term change can only come from an informed and sustained commitment, conversations regarding these efforts will be ongoing, and additional details will be released at a later date.
“The issues of systemic racism and police brutality in our country need to end,” said Paul. “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.”
“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,” said Silver. “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.”
In addition to Silver, Tatum, Stuart, Roberts, Paul and Iguodala, attendees for yesterday’s meeting included NBA President of Social Responsibility & Player Programs Kathy Behrens, NBA Senior Vice President of Player Development Greg Taylor, NBA Senior Vice President of Content Business Operations Kori Davis Porter, NBPA Foundation Executive Director Sherrie Deans, Malcolm Brogdon of the Indiana Pacers, CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks.