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5 Incidents where the NBA community showed solidarity against racism

Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors - Game One NBA Playoffs
Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors - Game One NBA Playoffs
ANALYST
Modified 25 Apr 2021
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Racism is a cancer that has eaten deep into the lives of many globally. The NBA community, which is predominantly black, has come out to condemn attacks where racism is on display.

It is important to always speak against these incidents, which is what the NBA community attempts to do at every turn. By creating enough awareness, people may change their negative mindsets regarding the issue.

5 incidents where the NBA community stood with the victims against racism

The NBA community has also been proactive in helping victims and family members. It is terrible that these incidents still happen in this day and age. The NBA has used its various platforms to speak out against this evil and stand in solidarity with those affected.

Here are five incidents where the NBA community showed their support.

1) Atlanta spa shootings

Rally Held In Washington, DC For Collective Safety To Protect Asian American Community
Rally Held In Washington, DC For Collective Safety To Protect Asian American Community

Over 3800 Asian-Americans have been targeted in hate incidents, with the most recent being the Atlanta spa shootings. It is reported that a white man visited 3 spas in the area and opened fire unprovoked, killing 8 people, of which 6 were Asian women.

It is unclear what factors caused the increasing reports of anti-Asian racism in the US. However, it is possible that Asians are being blamed for the covid-19 pandemic.

No reason justifies hate and attack on a particular race, which is the message the NBA is passing across. The NBA took to social media to immediately condemn the act and show support for the Asian community.

Other members of the NBA community, franchises, and players alike have also taken to social media to express their displeasure with the incident. The Atlanta Hawks are also very vocal about their solidarity with the Asian community, stating that acts like these should have no place in society.

2) Black Lives Matter

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game One
Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game One

The Black Lives Matter movement was perhaps the biggest anti-racism movement in recent times. NBA players boycotted Game 5 of the playoffs series to protest and stand in solidarity with the black community against the killings.

The movement started after a white officer was caught on tape pinning down George Floyd, which led to his death on May 25, 2020. The decision to boycott the playoff game started with the Milwaukee Bucks refusing to take the court against the Orlando Magic.

It was in response to another incident where an African-American was shot from behind 7 times in point-blank range. Members of the NBA community were fed up with the continuous brutality and demanded change.

The forfeiture inspired changes in outfits and pre-game rituals. Players and team members took a knee before every game while the national anthem played in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The practice continued throughout the postseason in the bubble.

The NBA community also applauded the justice system after the conviction of the officer who knelt on George Floyd. A jury found the ex-officer guilty on all charges and faces up to 75 years in prison for two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter.

3) North Carolina's transgender bathroom law

NBA All-Star Weekend
NBA All-Star Weekend

The NBA was forced to move its 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte, North Carolina, to New Orleans. The event was moved because of the North Carolina law regarding bathroom use for transgender people.

The law, which has now been repealed, stated that transgender individuals had to use the bathrooms based on the gender of birth. It was against the all-inclusive nature of the NBA and ultimately led to the change of the host city.

In a statement, the NBA explained that it would be unfair to those who would be affected if things continued as planned. The NBA community chose to stand with the LGBT community against the HB2 legislation.

4) Voter participation program

Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte Hornets
Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte Hornets

In light of the police brutality protests in 2020, the NBA community decided to get ahead to make sure people had a say in who governed them. In partnership with vote.org, the NBA sought to increase voter registration and awareness within the league and beyond. Speakers were also invited to discuss social justice issues.

With this program, about 92 percent of eligible players registered to vote. Prior to the program, only 62 percent of eligible players were registered.

Also, the NBA sold social justice jerseys at auction and raised $250,000 to support organizations that help address voter suppression. 23 franchisees also offered to use their arenas as polling units for the election.

Players like LeBron James and Jayson Tatum also have initiatives that focus on voter participation at the grass-roots level.

5) Racist language from former LA Clippers owner

In 2014, the NBA banned Donald Sterling (LA Clippers owner) from all NBA activities for using racist comments. He was also fined $2.5 million for his remark. According to the NBA constitution, that was the maximum levy allowed.

The NBA Board of Governors also forced the sale of the franchise in a bid to separate it from its owner. All of the punishments were ways of the NBA showing its stance on racism and how it will not condone it.

Published 25 Apr 2021
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