76ers, Devils Owners Pledge $20M to Fight Systemic Racism, Promote Equality

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 17, 2020

The Philadelphia 76ers' lhalf-court logo is shown before an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the private company that owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, has committed to donating $20 million to help in the fight against systemic racism and promote racial equality. 

According to HBSE's official release, the 76ers are contributing $10 million to the NBA's foundation dedicated to economic empowerment in the Black community. 

HBSE founder Josh Harris, who is also the owner of the Devils and managing partner for the Sixers, issued a statement about his organization's commitment to promoting racial equality: 

"As leaders and stewards of community pillars, the eyes of the world are on us to do better, and they should be. While we will never be able to correct the past harm and injustice faced by Black Americans, it's our duty to provide resources that enable tangible action and greater opportunities for equality. We are committing to a fundamental change in our business strategy by embedding our organization with Black communities and businesses through significant and sustained investment and support. We are deeply committed to fighting for a better, more inclusive future and we pledge to be leaders in doing so."

The remaining money donated will include $2.5 million going to organizations that improve resident quality of life and further equitable development in Black communities, $5 million in marketing assets to Black-owned businesses, and $2.5 million to support positive education, health and employment outcomes in Black communities. 

As part of the pledge to promote education, the 76ers are going to provide free internet access to more than 1,000 families in the school district of Philadelphia. 

The NBA board of governors announced Aug. 5 the creation of a foundation to promote economic empowerment in Black communities, which will include $30 million donations each year for the next 10 years from team owners.