NBA Playoffs Will Return Saturday; New Commitment From Owners
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After a three day hiatus, the NBA Playoffs will return on Saturday. Michele Roberts, executive director of the NBA Players Association announced the players agreed to continue the season after a new commitment from NBA owners in the push for social justice.
No games have been played since Tuesday. Three games were postponed on Wednesday after the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their game five matchup with the Orlando Magic to draw attention to the shooting death of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a police officer in Wisconsin.
“We had a candid, impassioned and productive conversation yesterday between NBA players, coaches and team governors regarding next steps to further our collective efforts and actions in support of social justice and racial equality,” Robert said in the statement. “Among others, the attendees included player and team representatives of all 13 teams in Orlando. All parties agreed to resume NBA playoff games on Saturday, Aug. 29 with the understanding that the league together with the players will work to enact the following commitments:
1. The NBA and its players have agreed to immediately establish a social justice coalition, with representatives from players, coaches and governors, that will be focused on a broad range of issues, including increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform.
2. In every city where the league franchise owns and controls the arena property, team governors will continue to work with local elections officials to convert the facility into a voting location for the 2020 general election to allow for a safe in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to COVID. If a deadline has passed, team governors will work with local elections officials to find another election-related use for the facility, including but not limited to voter registration and ballot receiving boards.
3. The league will work with the players and our network partners to create and include advertising spots in each NBA playoff game dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in national and local elections and raising awareness around voter access and opportunity.”
The Utah Jazz game six against the Denver Nuggets was postponed on Thursday after Wednesday’s protest. The Jazz lead the Nuggets 3-2 in the best of seven series.
The NBA Players Association gathered on Thursday and agreed to return to finish the playoffs assuming owners were willing to further engage in matters of social justice.