NBA Announces $300 Million Fund Dedicated to Empowering Black Community Through Economic Opportunities
The NBA Board of Governors is contributing $300 million in funding to establish a foundation focused on economic empowerment in the Black community.
According to the NBA's press release, the foundation will be launched in partnership with the National Basketball Players Association. 30 NBA team owners will collectively contribute $30 million annually over the next decade.
The NBA Foundation "will seek 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 press release reads.
The NBA said its new foundation will focus on three areas pertaining to employment: obtaining a first job, securing employment following high school or college, and career advancement once employed.
"Given the resources and incredible platform of the NBA, we have the power to ideate, implement and support substantive policies that reflect the core principles of equality and justice we embrace,” said NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts. “This Foundation will provide a framework for us to stay committed and accountable to these principles.”
“We are dedicated to using the collective resources of the 30 teams, the players and the league to drive meaningful economic opportunities for Black Americans,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We believe that through focused programs in our team markets and nationally, together with clear and specific performance measures, we can advance our shared goals of creating substantial economic mobility within the Black community.”
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Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA season resumed last Thursday with two games: the Los Angeles Lakers versus the Clippers and the Utah Jazz versus the New Orleans Pelicans.
During both games, players knelt during the national anthem while wearing Black Lives Matter shirts.
Following the Lakers game, LeBron James said he hoped they “made Kap proud,” referring to the former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick who started the #TakeAKnee movement during pro football’s 2016 preseason.
Silver seemed to support the players' decision to kneel, telling The New York Times, “I respect our teams’ unified act of peaceful protest for social justice and under these unique circumstances will not enforce our long-standing rule requiring standing during the playing of our national anthem.”
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
• ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.