NBA Social Justice Coalition Urges Passage of George Floyd Bill to Honor Police Brutality Victims

The NBA advocated for the wide-ranging bill's passage in honor of the one-year anniversary of George Floyd's death

george floyd
George Floyd.

The NBA's social justice coalition is calling on the U.S. Senate to pass police reform legislation, named after George Floyd, as a means of honoring Floyd and other victims of police brutality.

On Monday, the one-year anniversary of Floyd's death, the board members of the coalition published a statement urging the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a wide-ranging bill that was approved by the House of Representatives in early March but is still awaiting approval from the Senate.

Members of the coalition include players Carmelo Anthony, Karl-Anthony Towns, Sterling Brown, Donovan Mitchell and Avery Bradley, as well as several team owners and coaches. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum are also members.

"Today, as this painful anniversary approaches, we have an opportunity to honor the memory of Mr. Floyd and others who have been victims of police brutality in this country by passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act," the organization said in the statement.

NBA Players kneeling
Members of the Miami Heat kneel before their game. Michael Reaves/Getty

The bill is named after Floyd, who died when former officer Derek Chauvin pinned his knee to Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes.

Chauvin, 45, was eventually fired and charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Last month, he was found guilty on all three charges and is now awaiting his sentencing.

The bill, if enacted, would ban chokeholds and select no-knock warrants, create a database to track police misconduct and end racial and religious profiling, among other aspects, according to The Washington Post. It would also change how police officers are held accountable for misconduct in civil and criminal court.

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George Floyd's Brother Holds Prayer Vigil At Memorial Site
Candles burn June 1 at a memorial at the spot where George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis. Scott Olson/Getty Images

The coalition, which was formed last year in response to Floyd's death and the subsequent nationwide racial injustice protests, added, "We are calling on our elected representatives of both parties to work together to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in the U.S. Senate now and present it to President Biden for him to sign into law this year."

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"As members of the NBA family, we will continue to use our influence to support common-sense policy reform in our communities across the nation so that equal justice is afforded to all," the statement concluded.

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The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act requires 10 Senate Republicans to support it, for 60 votes total, to overcome a filibuster, the Associated Press previously reported. The bill passed the House in a 220 to 212 vote on Mach 3.

President Joe Biden's administration previously released a statement in support of the bill, as Biden, 78, also called for its passing on Twitter. "Following Senate consideration, I hope to be able to sign into law a landmark police reform bill," he tweeted.

Republicans have criticized the House-approved bill — largely over language that would remove officers' qualified immunity protections from lawsuits — but a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate has been working on a compromise and said this week they were hopeful about passing legislation.

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