NBA playoff games will resume Saturday, the league announced Friday in a joint statement with the NBPA.
Commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts released a statement outlining three major commitments the league and its players will work toward in pursuit of social justice and racial equality.
Per the release, the league has formed a social justice coalition comprised of players, coaches and governors that will “be focused on a broad range of issues, including increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement and advocating for police and criminal justice reform.”
The second commitment is for governors of franchises who own and control the arenas in which they typically play to convert those facilities to voting locations or, if that’s no longer doable, to “find another election-related use for the facility.” Additionally, the league intends to have advertising during each playoff game to “promote greater civic engagement” in elections and “raise awareness around voting access and opportunity.”
The Sixers released a statement on Friday afternoon.
Players decided to strike beginning on Wednesday, when the Milwaukee Bucks sat out Game 5 of their first-round series against the Orlando Magic. Bucks players want justice in the case of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot in the back by police seven times on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and is now paralyzed from the waist down. They also called on the Wisconsin state legislature to reconvene and enact measures to address police accountability and brutality.
ESPN’s Malika Andrews reported that approximately 100 league employees will walk out on Friday in solidarity with NBA and WNBA players. In a letter to Silver and deputy commissioner Mark Tatum, the employees wrote that the NBA and its Board of Governors have “the leverage to do more to directly address and combat police brutality and systemic racism in this country,” according to Andrews.