The past few months have been an impactful time of change across many professional sports leagues. Just about every major league in the US from the MLS to the WNBA have either made an official statement or allowed their players to perform in demonstrations to raise awareness for the current Black Lives Matter movement. This last week however, statements and demonstrations turned into strikes with the NBA leading the way in this specific form of resistance. On August 23rd, Jacob Blake, a 29 year-old Black man, was shot in the back seven times by an officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. This act of violence was the breaking point for many athletes and lead to the postponement of numerous games across the handful of professional leagues currently in season. The postponements lead many to wonder when or if the leagues would decide to resume their seasons.
Today (August 28), the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association came to an agreement to return to play on August 29. The two came to the conclusion with the NBA agreeing to step up and aid the players in making civic change. Specifically, the league has agreed to “establish a social justice coalition”, aid in local elections in cities that have NBA teams by converting stadiums into voting facilities, and create and air advertisements throughout the rest of the playoffs that raise awareness regarding voter access and its importance (Source: Twitter). Overall, the strikes lead by the NBA players seem to have lead to some real positive change. Hopefully, other leagues will follow a similar path and listen to their athletes and act on their desire to enact real positive change with the platforms they have.
Check out the joint statement by the NBA and the NBPA down below.