Adam Silver
Photo: AP/Jae C. Hong

After completing week 1 of NBA’s project restart, we are confident that the US basketball regulation authority is doing a better job in ensuring the safety of athletes and conveying a strong social message.

The MLB and the NFL are back in action after the pandemic hiatus too, but both organizations are having a hard time to cope with the challenges the new world poses. Sporting events are not a kaszinó, they are not just about the profits, they incorporate broader aspects of people’s lives, and have a greater social responsibility.

What The NBA Is Doing Differently?

The NBA has done an exceptionally good job in containing the virus threat and expressing its commitment to champion social equity and justice. NBA has reported zero Covid-19 cases since the restart, thanks to its well-planned health guidelines and extensive testing program. On the other hand, it has done its part to stand by communities facing discrimination.

The NBA Board of Governors has formed the NBA Foundation, which would help out underprivileged communities and minorities. It has pledged a primary funding of $300m to be split across 10 years. Meaning, there will be $30m worth of funding each year, which is comparable to a hefty payout day in a casino.

We are living at a time of severe turbulence. There is a pandemic raging on, and on top of that, there is a nationwide wave against racism and other discrimination. Many business organizations have expressed their vocal support in the ‘’Black Lives Matter’’ movement. The NBA has taken a proactive supporting role in this movement by launching the NBA Foundation.

What The NBA Governors Are Saying

On behalf of the NBA Board of Governors, I am thrilled to announce the creation of the NBA Foundation,” said NBA Board of Governors Chairman and Toronto Raptors Governor Larry Tanenbaum. “All NBA team governors recognize our unique position to effect change and we are committed to supporting and empowering young Black men and women in each of our team markets as well as communities across the U.S. and Canada.”

The creation of this foundation is an important step in developing more opportunities for the Black community,” said NBPA President Chris Paul. “I am proud of our league and our players for their commitment to this long-term fight for equality and justice, and I know we will continue to find ways to keep pushing for meaningful institutional change.”

The funds would come from all NBA franchise owners in the next 100 years. It would primarily focus on developing the socio-economic status of the Black community by creating employment and career advancement opportunities. The foundation will also aim to provide scholarships to high school and college students and bankroll NBA scouting programs.

Given the resources and incredible platform of the NBA, we have the power to ideate, implement and support substantive policies that reflect the core principles of equality and justice we embrace,” said NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts. “This Foundation will provide a framework for us to stay committed and accountable to these principles.”

We are dedicated to using the collective resources of the 30 teams, the players and the league to drive meaningful economic opportunities for Black Americans,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We believe that through focused programs in our team markets and nationally, together with clear and specific performance measures, we can advance our shared goals of creating substantial economic mobility within the Black community.”

How Will The NBA Foundation Work?

The foundation has vowed to work alongside other organizations which share the same goal. It would work in tandem with its strategic partners to draw more funding towards the cause. It attempts to help out individuals in three transitional phases: landing the first job, finding a suitable job upon graduation, and pointing out a career progression path after securing employment.

The NBA foundation will also invest in other youth development programs and carry out various programs across traditionally black colleges in the United States. The foundation will work cohesively with all NBA teams and their associate charitable organizations. It would attempt to improve funding at grassroot level for better nurturing of future NBA talents.

With all that said, it can’t be said the NBA has done everything right to support diversity. To this day, there remains only one black NBA governor in Micheal Jordan. But, the way it has been addressing the issue has been promising. A more racially diverse NBA administration is well on the cards.