NBA players coalition wants a call to action for the black community

Jamie Hudson
NBC Sports Northwest

NBA players have been discussing how resuming the 2019-20 season in Orlando could both positively and negatively impact the current social justice movements. 

Just as former Trail Blazers fan favorite Ed Davis mentioned in a HoopsHype interview this week, the chance for 22 NBA teams to go down to Orlando and restart the season also means it's an opportunity for the players to be together and make a difference in the world and more specifically in the black community. 

This is really the only time that you're going to get that and it's the only time you're going to get 22 teams together for seven weeks, so we can really get down and meet every couple of weeks and do some really cool things.

There's some really great stuff that we can do for the world. I feel like all of us doing it together and working with the NBA and working with these owners, we can really help out. For me, I want to fight against police brutality. That's my cause; that's really what I want to focus on. I hope that when we get down there, we can do that together. -- Ed Davis in a recent interview with HoopsHype

Now a group of NBA players have reportedly band together to work on calls to action. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon and special guest Jordan Kent].

 

In an interview with ESPN's Malika Andrews and Adrian Wojnarowski, Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley, who has been a co-leader of the players group working to make a change along with Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, says the group of players is ready to hear what the league office has to say in their efforts and plans to help impact the black community.  

In the ESPN report, Bradley and the players' coalition described their priorities in calls to action around the league.

Those priorities include, but are not limited to:

  • Improved hiring practices for black front office members and head coaching positions (making it so the league's management ranks better reflect its makeup of players)

  • Donations to organizations aiding in black communities 

  • Partnerships with black-owned businesses, which also includes NBA arena vendors

The Celtics guard explained that many players are hopeful to use platforms in Orlando when play resumes to speak on issues of systemic racism.

But, the players are also hoping to get help from team owners as well to have greater impact.

Regardless of how much media coverage will be received, talking and raising awareness about social injustice isn't enough. Are we that self-centered to believe no one in the world is aware of racism right now? That as athletes, we solve the real issues by using our platforms to speak? We don't need to say more. We need to find a way to achieve more. Protesting during an anthem, wearing T-shirts is great, but we need to see real actions being put into the works. -- Avery Bradley told ESPN

Bradley added, "don't put all of the weight on your player to take care of the issue. If you care about us, you can't remain silent and in the background."

As for the argument that the NBA should not return this summer because it could take away from the Black Live Matter movement, Bradley offered up this explanation:

"The actual act of sitting out doesn't directly fight systemic racism. But it does highlight the reality that without black athletes, the NBA wouldn't be what it is today. The league has a responsibility to our communities in helping to empower us -- just as we have made the NBA brand strong."

Teams are expected to start practicing in their own facilities before traveling to Orlando. Training camp is tentatively set to begin June 30 with teams traveling to Orlando on July 7.

Be sure to check out Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football

NBA players coalition wants a call to action for the black community originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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