New York [USA], November 21 (ANI): The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) on Saturday announced the formation of the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition, an organisation that will lead the NBA family's collective efforts to advance equality and social justice.
"Through its mission to leverage the game's influence to raise awareness, educate and advocate for meaningful reform, the coalition will focus on action and change in several areas, including voting access and criminal justice system reform at the national, state and local level," NBA said in a statement.
The National Basketball Social Justice Coalition will be led by a group of five team governors, five players and two coaches. Additionally, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum and NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts will serve on the board.
The inaugural board members are:
NBA Board of Governors: Micky Arison, Miami Heat Managing General Partner; Steve Ballmer, LA Clippers Chairman; Clay Bennett, Oklahoma City Thunder Chairman; Marc Lasry, Milwaukee Bucks Governor;
Vivek Ranadive, Sacramento Kings Governor and Chairman.
National Basketball Players Association: Carmelo Anthony, Portland Trail Blazers Forward; Avery Bradley, Los Angeles Lakers Guard; Sterling Brown, Milwaukee Bucks Guard-Forward; Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz Guard; Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves Forward.
National Basketball Coaches Association: Lloyd Pierce, Atlanta Hawks Head Coach; Doc Rivers, Philadelphia 76ers Head Coach.
The formation of the coalition is another step in the NBA and NBPA's ongoing efforts to advance social justice, building upon a shared goal of the 2019-20 season restart in Orlando and continuing decades of work by players and teams to address racial inequality, advocate for meaningful change and promote greater civic engagement.
"Throughout their time on the Orlando campus, players, coaches and staff participated in social justice programming organised by the league and union and accessed educational resources and expert speakers, including former first lady Michelle Obama, motivational speaker Eric Thomas and NBA legend and former United States Senator Bill Bradley, to help sustain momentum in addressing systemic inequities and creating meaningful change. Additionally, the jerseys from the opening weekend of the NBA restart, including those displaying social justice messages, were auctioned on the NBA website to support a newly-created Player's Justice Fund administered by the NBPA Foundation," read a statement.
In early August, the NBA Board of Governors announced a USD 300 million initial contribution to establish the first-ever NBA Foundation dedicated to creating greater economic empowerment in the Black community and in October named the inaugural Board of Directors. (ANI)