The NBA and the National Association of Basketball Players said Wednesday they agreed that continuing to discuss and combat systemic racism will be a focal point during the league’s restart in Orlando, Florida.
“The group that met agreed in principle that the goal of the restart of the season in Orlando will be to take collective action to combat systemic racism and racial inequality across the country,” a joint statement said.
The meeting, which took place on Tuesday, included NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBPA President Chris Paul. Hawks guardians Trae Young, Trail Blazers, CJ McCollum, Pacers, Malcolm Brogdon and Jazz Donovan Mitchell were also included.
The press release noted that while “specific plans were not finalized,” they discussed plans to: increase black representation on team staff, headquarters and in the league office; working with more black-owned companies and vendors; and form a foundation that aims to “expand educational and economic development” in black communities.
The announcement comes eight days after Avery Bradley, co-leader of a player coalition with Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, told ESPN that he would like to see the league increase diversity among top decision-makers. basketball, associated with Black-owned companies and making donations to organizations that serve black communities.
“The league has a responsibility to our communities to help us empower ourselves, just as we have strengthened the NBA brand,” Bradley said June 16.
NBA players have been prominent participants in protests, calls to action on social media and charity after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 and the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville on March 13 at the hands of police.
Floyd, who was black, died after former officer Derek Chauvin, who was white, pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for several minutes. Chauvin has been charged with murder. Taylor, who was black, was fatally shot in his bed after police broke down his apartment door in an attempted drug sting.
Since then, Brogdon, Young, Russell Westbrook, Irving, Stephen Curry, and Jaylen Brown have been among dozens of players who have participated in peaceful protests.
“The problems of systemic racism and police brutality in our country must end,” Paul said in the statement. “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 in the long term to continue the momentum and achieve real and lasting change in our society. “
The NBA is slated to resume games on July 30 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
Disney is the parent company of ESPN.