It’s been a volatile year around the country, in more ways than one. Just as the pandemic was taking hold in America during the summer, there was an uprising among citizens against the type of police violence that has taken the lives of so many Black Americans. Athletes and celebrities around the world joined the cause, with numerous NBA stars throwing their support and influence behind the cause.
It resulted in a brief work stoppage during the first round of the playoffs in Orlando, as players put pressure on the league and its owners to enact concrete plan to fight racial injustice. Beyond that, individual teams and players have enacted their own initiatives to battle injustice.
The Boston Celtics, for instance, announced a 10-year, multi-million-dollar plan in partnership with the Shamrock Foundation that will focus on education and outreach. Celtics star Jaylen Brown is helping spearhead that plan, and on Friday, he talked more about how he plans to continue the work required to rectify racial injustice, even though there will be a change in White House occupant next month.
I asked Jaylen Brown how he was going to move his fight for social justice forward this season. Here’s his full answer: pic.twitter.com/ehDvZ9xShn
— John Karalis 🇬🇷 (@RedsArmy_John) December 4, 2020
The NBA, as an institution, was a vocal and visible proponent of the Black Lives Matter movement this year, printing the BLM logo on the court in Orlando, allowing players to display social justice messages on their jerseys, and generally encouraging players to speak out.
But Adam Silver has indicated that the league likely won’t be quite as visible about it in the coming season, amid concerns that messaging fatigue might dilute or undermine those efforts. Still, it’s clear that players like Brown and scores of others will continue to use their platform to bring awareness, education, and actionable change for disenfranchised communities across the country.