The NBA may soon be following in the NFL’s shoes in regard to player protests and political demonstrations, launching a social justice platform where players, owners, and officials could discuss “equality issues” facing local communities and cities.
The National Basketball Association’s President of Social Responsibility and Player Programs Kathy Behrens announced the new program, called NBA Voices, while speaking with USA Today on Monday; adding the platform would promote “inclusion, diversity, and equality.”
“One of the things that we’ve been talking a lot to our players about and some of our partners was, ‘How can we do a better job of sharing these stories, sharing the work that players and our partners are doing?’ We thought it needed something to stand on its own,” said Behrens.
“It’s a new platform, but it’s not really a new initiative in the sense that it really is going to aggregate work that we’ve been doing, stories that we’ve been working on with our community partners. We’re excited to have something that can house all this great work and share the stories of what our players and partners are doing,” she added.
According to Behrens, the NBA has already launched over 200 programs in 26 cities to help promote the community-based initiatives; reaching more than 40,000 individuals and mentors.
“We’re going to continue our community conversations, we’re going to continue our Building Bridges Through Basketball program, and we’re going to continue to support our players using this platform and other platforms to speak out in issues that they care about — the focus on equality and social justice,” Behrens added.
AMERICA’S GAME? NFL FINES Athlete Over Santa Shoes, ALLOWS Players to TRASH US Flag
The “disgraceful” NFL reached a new low this week, fining a professional athlete for wearing red, Christmas-themed cleats during last Sunday’s game while permitting other players to blatantly disrespect the US national anthem and flag.
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara was fined over $6,000 for his holiday cheer; wearing the footwear to promote a GoFundMe page he created to provide football cleats to underprivileged youth hoping to play the game.
“Unfortunately The Grinch stole Christmas!! After the game I said that I would make a gofundme for the fine and donate the proceeds to charity sooooo…. here we are!” he wrote. “A donation will be made to Willie Hall playgrounds recreational department to provide cleats for their youth football programs.”
“Yeah, they were worth it,” Kamara told reporters.
The league’s decision to fine Kamara over his footwear raised eyebrows across the sports community on Friday, following months of the NFL permitting players to openly make political demonstrations on the field without any fines or consequences.
BLIND SIDE: NFL 'Mega' Sponsor Suddenly Pulls Ads from League
The controversy surrounding the National Football League continued to take its toll on the organization’s beleaguered bottom-line on Wednesday, after a ‘mega’ sponsor decided to pull its advertisements from future games for the remainder of the season.
In response to player protests during the national anthem, the owner of a New Jersey ‘mega’ car dealership decided to pull its ads for the rest of the 2017 season, or until league officials and owners crackdown on political demonstrations during the performance of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’
“The National Football League and its owners have shown their fans and marketing partners that they do not have a comprehensive policy to ensure that players stand and show respect for America and our flag during the playing of the national anthem,” said the owner of Flemington Car and Truck Company. “We have cancelled all of our NFL advertising on the Optimum and Infinity [cable] networks.”
“As the NFL parses the important nationwide issues of ‘social justice’ and ‘freedom of speech,’ it is clear that a firm direction by them is not forthcoming,” he added.
The NFL found itself in the midst of a media firestorm last month, following a string of player protests against the national anthem; prompting a steep decline in ticket sales, merchandise, and television viewership.