The NBA has been quite active in the fight against systematic racism and social injustice, introducing campaigns to counter them and raising awareness amongst the public. The league has also ensured the stars involved in the NBA have made enormous efforts, using their platform and influence, to make a change.
NBA's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award to recognize players striving for racial equality
The league has announced a new Social Justice Champion prize, which will be awarded to NBA players working towards ensuring social justice and reforms. The award will be named after NBA and LA Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was a noteworthy civil rights activist in his time.
Jabbar was elated at the NBA initiative and expressed his delight during a conversation with ESPN.
"It's nice to see the NBA try to promote social justice awareness, and I am very flattered they would see fit to name the award after me," Abdul-Jabbar, 74, told The Undefeated. "I know I have some history with this, so I'm happy the way it's worked out," said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Abdul-Jabbar, a six-time NBA MVP winner, has been active in political scenarios since an early age. He was not afraid to voice his opinions at a time when the league was not considered to be political, and was an ardent follower of Martin Luther King Jr.
The new generation of players have also made their voices heard, ensuring that the messages related to social equality and justice are heard loud and clear. Players like LeBron James continue to lead the charge in the fight against race-provoked injustice.
The issue escalated in 2020 when George Floyd, a Minnesota native, died due to injuries inflicted by a police officer who knelt on his neck. The incident resulted in Floyd's death due to suffocation. The episode was quickly brought to the attention of national media, leading to various protests first in the USA and subsequently across the globe.
Apart from LeBron James, star players like Stephen Curry and Draymond Green have also expressed their displeasure over the topic and have extended help to the affected communities. The Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award seems like a brilliant initiative by the NBA, which might see more players come forward and make a difference in the fight against racial inequality.