The Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Trophy for the league’s annual Social Justice Champion award was introduced today by the NBA. The award honors a contemporary NBA player who is committed to social justice and furthering Abdul-life Jabbar’s objective of engaging, empowering, and driving equality for historically oppressed or structurally disadvantaged people and organizations.
The trophy honors Abdul-legacy Jabbar’s and draws inspiration from his commitment to creating an equal and just society, leveling the playing field, and ensuring that every child is free to dream. It was designed by James Adams Jr., Jason Garrett, Vijay Singh, and Lacy Talley, four aspiring artists from inaugural NBA Foundation grantee Marcus Graham Project, and produced by artist Victor Solomon. The building includes a 3-D print of Abdul-hands Jabbar’s holding up these values in the shape of a basketball globe, symbolizing the power of athletes and activists to use their platforms to advance social justice around the world. The gold, six-sided base represents harmony and balance while honoring Abdul-overall Jabbar’s greatness, as seen by his six NBA championships and numerous accomplishments outside of basketball.
The trophy was awarded to the 2021 Social Justice Champion and Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony during a pregame ceremony and on-court presentation prior to tipoff of the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets game at Crypto.com Arena.
The winner in 2022 will be announced during the NBA playoffs and will receive a $100,000 NBA grant to a social justice group of his choice. The remaining four finalists will each choose a charity to receive a $25,000 donation on their behalf.