The NBA and the NBA Players Association have begun working together in an effort to “create positive change” amid the violent acts throughout the country that have resulted in protests in other professional leagues.
The memo, which was obtained by Newsday, was sent to each player Wednesday, signed by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and union leader Michele Roberts, that said the league and players association “have begun developing substantive ways for us to come together and take meaningful action.”
In the letter, it noted how NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul “spoke eloquently” at the ESPYs about demanding change, and that players have reached out “to solicit advice on how you can get involved to create positive change and to ask for support as you develop your own effort.”
Some NFL players have knelt or raised their fists during the national anthem in public protests. In the WNBA, the Indiana Fever knelt and locked arms during the anthem before Wednesday night’s game, protesting recent police shootings. Other teams, including the Liberty, have worn plain black warm-up shirts.
The NBA’s rule of standing during the anthem was never broached in the memo. But players and franchises are being urged to continue to be present in their communities and to use “our game to bring people together and build bonds of trust.”
An excerpt of the letter reads:
“These ideas are based on the actions many of you have already taken or supported, including convening community conversations in NBA markets to engage young people, parents, community leaders and law enforcement in a candid dialogue ... and supporting mentoring and career development programs that help bring economic opportunity to young people of color.
Some NBA training camps open this weekend, and the remainder start next week. The memo said the league and union would work with each team to get the players’ thoughts on what they want to do.