The NBA and its players’ union said today that the playoffs will resume Saturday after a three-day pause in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
After a meeting among players, coaches and team officials, the league has committed to “further our collective efforts and actions in support of social justice and racial equality.”
“We had a candid, impassioned and productive conversation yesterday between NBA players, coaches and team governors regarding next steps to further our collective efforts and actions in support of social justice and racial equality,” National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a joint statement.
It appears that the players had some great demands and got most of them agreed with.
One of the commitments is the immediate establishment of a social justice coalition — with representation from players, coaches, and governors — that will cover a wide array of issues, including increased voting access, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for “meaningful police and criminal justice reform.”
The second issue agreed on is, in every NBA city where the league’s franchise owns and controls its arena property, team owners will work with local officials to turn those arenas into voting locations for the 2020 general election, giving constituents a way to vote in person during the coronavirus pandemic. If that isn’t possible, there will be an effort to use those facilities in other ways, including as sites to register voters and receive ballots.
The third thing agreed on is the league will work with the players and our network partners to create and include advertising spots in each NBA playoff game dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in national and local elections and raising awareness around voter access and opportunity.
Players returned to practice today and the games scheduled for this past Wednesday will be played on Saturday.
NBPA President and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Chris Paul spoke about the decision to return to the court and resume the season.
“I have to give a lot of credit to our players,” Paul said. “It’s been a hard time for everyone. The communication we’ve been having is amazing. I think everyone saw guys just needing to reset, to refocus. And that’s what we did.”