Reggie Bullock of the Dallas Mavericks, Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks, Jarvis Jackson Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies, Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors have been named as the five finalists for the 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award. The five candidates represent the year’s most influential social justice campaigners, carrying on a decades-long legacy of action among NBA players. The yearly award honors a current NBA player for promoting Abdul-life Jabbar’s objective of engaging, empowering, and driving equality for persons and organizations who have been historically disenfranchised or systemically disadvantaged.
The Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion selection committee, which included social justice leaders and NBA family members, chose the finalists from a pool of team nominees. In addition to Abdul-Jabbar, Director of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport Dr. Richard Lapchick, National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial, UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murgua, Rise Founder and CEO Amanda Nguyen, and NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum, the committee also includes Kendall Dudley, a member of the Jr. NBA Court of Leaders and the 2021-22 youth representative.
The winner will be announced on TNT during the Western Conference Finals and will receive a $100,000 NBA donation to a social justice organization of his choice. Each of the remaining four finalists will choose a social justice group to receive a $25,000 donation on their behalf. Carmelo Anthony of the Los Angeles Lakers was crowned the first Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion at the end of the 2020-21 season.
You can learn more about each finalist and the causes they champion here.