Trail Blazers

CJ McCollum confident with plan

Trail Blazers

At some point, we might all look back at the last three days and say they played a part in changing the world. But at the very least, we will remember it was a period when a lot of thoughtful people spent a lot of time TRYING to change the world. And we will admire their efforts.

Navigating through the difficult past few days in Orlando, the Trail Blazers’ CJ McCollum -- a member of the executive committee of the NBA players association -- has wanted a plan in place, a blueprint, a road map for what NBA players and governors are going to do to further their push for social justice and racial equality.

He believes that plan is now in place. And he is confident it will be successful.

“I’m extremely confident in the plan we have in place,” McCollum said Friday. “We’ve talked to professionals, continue to talk to professionals and we’re going to be hiring a third party who does this for a living to be sure we’ll be able to execute some of the things we are putting into place, in terms of the voting.

“That’s something we can act on right away. All the ownership groups are in contact with their counties right now, trying to figure out what they can execute from a voting standpoint, opening up arenas and practice facilities and things of that nature.

“That’s one action that will directly impact thousands and thousands of people and give them access to voting.”

There is an obvious sense of urgency about the voting piece of the plan. But there are more things involved.

“Some of the other things we’re implementing, I’m sure you’ve seen the press release,” he said, “is more consistent around spreading the message, taking advantage of ad space, to encourage people to vote, continuing to encourage people to try to spread equality. And the coalition we’ve been able to create is something we’re extremely proud of, continuing to build.

“But keep in mind, we’ve had only 24 to 48 hours to really discuss these things.”

But the important thing is to get moving. To get others moving.

“The ball is in motion, but it’s going to take some time,” McCollum said, “To change habits over time, as we’ve seen. But from 30 years ago to today, we’ve definitely made strides and have a long, long ways to go.

“We’re happy we’re able to sit down and have those discussions because without the Milwaukee Bucks deciding not to play, and us standing behind them, I’m not sure we’d have these same activations in place -- these same actionable ideas ready to be acted upon.”