NBA's Social Justice Coalition Shows Support for George Floyd Justice in Policing ActMay 25, 2021
The National Basketball Social Justice Coalition publicly endorsed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
Executive director James Cadogan called upon lawmakers to turn the Floyd Act into real legislation:
"Today, as this painful anniversary approaches, we have an opportunity to honor the memory of Mr. Floyd and others who have been victims of police brutality in this country by passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Systemic problems demand systemic solutions. And, because police actions are governed by a diverse array of state laws and local policies, the Floyd Act takes unprecedented strides towards consistency—reforming at a federal level the practices that failed its namesake.
"The bill already passed with a bipartisan vote in the U.S. House of Representatives and is now pending in the Senate where we hope it will have similar bipartisan support as it should and must. As Board Members of the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition, representing the NBA, the Players Association, the Coaches Association, league staff, and teams in every region of the country, we are calling on our elected representatives of both parties to work together to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in the U.S. Senate now and present it to President Biden for him to sign into law this year."
Police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis.
Police responded to a report that Floyd had used a counterfeit bill at a nearby grocery store. Floyd was removed from his vehicle, handcuffed and fell to the ground after officers attempted to place him into custody.
While he was on the ground, Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes despite Floyd saying he was struggling to breathe. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
In April, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Among other things, the Floyd Act limits qualified immunity for law enforcement officers and lowers the legal standard to which officers are held during federal prosecution. The legislation passed through the House of Representatives in March.
The murder of Floyd sparked protests against systemic racism and police brutality across the country. The wider efforts carried over into the NBA. During last year's playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court against the Orlando Magic after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, which led to a wildcat strike.
The framework of the social justice coalition was part of the agreement between the NBA and National Basketball Players Association to resume play, and the initiative was launched in November.