NBA Social Justice Response
In light of the ongoing social justice movement, the NBA is doing everything possible to help the cause. In the Orlando bubble, the NBA allowed its players to replace the last name on their jerseys with a social justice message. These included statements such as “Black Lives Matter,” “Equality” and “Vote.”
The league certainly made its message clear when its players boycotted an entire day of playoff games in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man.
Many players are also contributing their own individual efforts to address the issue. For example, 2020 NBA Finals MVP, Lebron James, leads a voting rights organization called “More Than a Vote.”
In its efforts to “[protect] Black voters and voter suppression that goes on in our communities,” the coalition has already recruited over 10,000 volunteer poll workers. James says one of the organization’s proud slogans is “change isn’t made by sitting on the sidelines.”
As the 2020 presidential election approaches, the NBA’s efforts to combat racial voter suppression are paying off. Ahead of the election, 96% of the league’s players are registered to vote. To put this figure into perspective, a mere 22% of NBA players voted in the 2016 election.
Just 22% of @NBA players voted in the 2016 election. Now, 96% of the league is registered to vote.
20 NBA arenas are being used as voting sites in their respective cities.
Bigger than basketball. https://t.co/mJFvSdA9ns
— Shannon McLellan (@shannmclellan) October 14, 2020
Furthermore, 20 NBA arenas across the country will serve as polling sites for this year’s election. This includes Madison Square Garden, home of the New York Knicks. This will be the city’s largest polling site welcoming over 60,000 eligible voters.