The NBA announced Wednesday that it would donate $300 million over the next 10 years to help found the NBA Foundation, which is “dedicated to creating greater economic empowerment in the Black community.”
B/R’s Howard Beck shared the NBA’s press release:
Specifically, the goal of the NBA Foundation will be to “increase access and support for high school, college-aged and career-ready Black men and women, and assist national and local organizations that provide skills training, mentorship, coaching and pipeline development in NBA markets and communities across the United States and Canada.”
The goal will be to help young Black men and women get a first job, keep employment while in high school or college and to advance their careers upon graduation.
NBA players were adamant that addressing social issues was a condition of any return to play after the COVID-19 pandemic caused a four-month hiatus.
“The issues of systemic racism and police brutality in our country need to end,” NBPA president and Oklahoma Thunder point guard Chris Paul said in a joint NBA-NBPA statement in late June. “As players, we have taken a leadership role when it comes to using our voices and implementing practical solutions, but there is much work ahead both in Orlando and long-term to continue the momentum and bring about real, long-lasting change to our society.”
The NBA and NBPA said in that statement that they also agreed to increase hirings of Black men and women in coaching and front office roles around the NBA and would work with more Black businesses and vendors in their communities.
During the restart itself, teams have taken a knee during the playing of the national anthem, a nod to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest of racial discrimination and police brutality in 2016. And many players have used their time speaking with the media to talk about issues of systemic racism and police reform.