Over the past two months, as the nation has seen thousands take the streets to protest police violence and systemic inequality, athletes and celebrities have lent their voices and their influence in an effort to affect meaningful change. The killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor have mobilized Americans in a way we haven’t seen in a generation.
Even as the NBA prepares to resume its season in Orlando later this month, many players and league officials have voiced concerns about how to make sure the return of professional sports doesn’t distract from the Black Lives Matter movement and instead leverages its platform to bring greater awareness to the cause and spur concrete action.
Kyrie Irving was one of the first to express reluctance about the NBA restart, and though he won’t be participating with the Nets as he continues to rehab from injury, he’s funneling his efforts elsewhere to make the most of this opportunity. On Tuesday, it was announced that he’s producing a television program designed specifically to bring justice for Breonna Taylor, an unarmed black woman who police shot to death in her apartment as the plainclothes officers executed a no-knock warrant.
The broadcast will include specific calls for action, such as calls to the offices of city and state officials, voter registrations and social media posts bringing attention to Taylor’s case.
Irving, who has been vocal about social justice issues, says as society is calling attention to police brutality and systemic racism, it is “critical to magnify how these unjust behaviors and practices are directly impacting Black women.”
The program will air PlayersTV, a digital platform on Samsung TV that is similar to the Players’ Tribune in that it is designed specifically for athletes to produce their own stories. The show will feature a variety of guests, such as Jemelle Hill and Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza.