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NAACP Will Picket Outside Magic Games Over Construction Hirings

Jessica DAnalyst IApril 24, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 22:  Orlando Magic signs hang on chairs during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Amway Arena April 22, 2009 in Orlando, Florida.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The Orange branch of the NAACP plans to picket outside the Orlando Magic's Amway Arena during the NBA playoffs over "broken promises" of hiring black construction workers at the new events center in Parramore.

Parramore is a poor area of Orlando, in which approximately 90 percent of the population is of African American descent.

Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer insisted that the minority-hiring provisions built into the project was a success so far.

"We have gone over and beyond what anybody else is done in regard to minority participation. It has been highly successful, although we're only about 20 percent into construction," Dyer said.

City officials reported 23 workers that have been hired since February 13, and 22 have been from these West Orlando neighborhoods.

Magic officials also disputed the allegations that they haven't lived up to their end of the deal to provide jobs for Parramore-area residents.

"The facts speak for themselves", Magic spokesman Joel Glass said. "More than $73 million in contracts have been awarded to local minority and women business enterprises—including contracts for companies in the Parramore neighborhood."

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NAACP members disagree. They encourage their members to being planning now, for organizing picketing events takes time.

There was no sign of the organization on Wednesday night as the Magic took on the 76ers at home in Orlando.

The next time they'll have a chance to demonstrate does not come until Tuesday, April 28, which is Game Five if necessary. Until then, the NAACP will have time to organize as the Magic head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers in Game Three.

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