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.