The National Basketball Coaches Association has established a committee on racial injustice and reform to lead the basketball community’s response against racial discrimination and police brutality.
A statement, signed by 33 current and former head coaches as well as nearly 180 assistant coaches, said that they were “committed to working in our NBA cities with local leaders, officials and law enforcement agencies to create positive change in our communities. We have the power and platform to affect change, and we will use it.”
– 28 of the 30 NBA teams have made public statements following George Floyd’s death. The current exceptions are the San Antonio Spurs, juxtaposing coach Greg Popovich’s involvement on the NBCA committee and being one of the most vocal coaches in sports on social issues, and the New York Knicks.
In an internal email sent to Madison Square Garden employees in response to internal discussion on why the organization had not commented, executive chairman and CEO Jim Dolan said, “as companies in the business of sports and entertainment, however, we are not any more qualified than anyone else to offer our opinion on social matters. What’s important is how we operate.” He further wrote that that the company is committed to “upholding our values,” which include “creating a respectful workplace for all.”
– In its own internal memo, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said “baseball wants to be part of the solution. Our clubs, located in many of the cities in which large protests are taking place, have long engaged in community and social efforts…we promise those efforts will continue.” MLB also will launch an effort “to explore how we can improve our existing initiatives and create new ways to bring communities together through the unifying power of baseball.”
– Sports Illustrated’s union, which because of layoffs currently has no black staff writers, said it is “part of the problem,” and will seek to improve the amount of diversity and inclusion, while The Ringer’s union said it “has a lot of work to do.”