NBA players have been adamant throughout the restarted season about keeping focus on issues beyond the basketball court that impact their communities. Players have committed time, money, and resources to fighting for racial and social justice, calling for leaders to bring about systemic change in policing and racist policies, such as voter suppression, that disproportionately targets and disenfranchise Black Americans.
During the pandemic, they’ve also helped to provide meals and resources to thousands of families across the country as unemployment rates skyrocket and uncertainty about where the next meal will come from has become a major concern for millions. On Monday, the league announced the five players who have earned the NBA Cares Community Assist Award this season for their work off the court, with the league and Kaiser Permanente donating $10,000 on their behalf to a charitable cause of their choosing.
Harrison Barnes, Jaylen Brown, George Hill, Chris Paul, and Dwight Powell are the five recipients of the award this year, honoring their work in the community in a year in which those efforts have been incredibly important. All five have provided donations to support local efforts to provide food to those in need during the pandemic and also have been driving voices in the call for social justice and an end to systemic racism, working with their teams and making individual efforts to support various organizations in the fight for racial justice.
The five $10,000 donations will go to the African American Policy Forum (Barnes), 7uice Foundation (Brown), Represent Justice (Hill), Chris Paul Family Foundation (Paul), and Champions of Discovery (Powell).