Nets Owners Pledge $50M to Support Social Justice, Economic Mobility

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2020

A hat bearing the new logo of the Brooklyn Nets is displayed during a news conference to unveil the new logos of the Brooklyn Nets in New York, Monday, April 30, 2012.  The Nets will be moving from New Jersey to the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York for the 2012-2013 NBA basketball season. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Brooklyn Nets owners Clara Wu Tsai and Joe Tsai announced Tuesday they've pledged $50 million over the next 10 years to "support social justice and economic mobility initiatives that will benefit Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), with a priority focus on Brooklyn."

The couple, which also owns the WNBA's New York Liberty and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, have developed a five-point plan "committed to inclusiveness, justice and equal opportunity."

They both released statements about the commitment. Clara said:

"Joe and I are proud to present our statement of core principles and action plan as a continuation of our efforts to address racial injustice and economic inequality in our society. We plan to focus first on our organizations and our community in Brooklyn. We believe Barclays Center, the Nets, and the Liberty can be symbols of how we move forward together as a country. It is our hope to lead by example through supporting our athletes, employees, and our community in anti-racist and anti-discrimination work and providing the resources needed to accelerate change."

Joe added:

"Alongside the leadership of our companies, we have spoken up against all forms of racism and made a commitment to work in partnership with our community to raise awareness and push back on racial prejudice. Brooklyn has long been a place where people of many different origins can engage in dialogue and find common ground, and we have seen the best example of that at the plaza in front of Barclays Center. Today, we present the framework for how we plan to accomplish the goals of justice and equality."

Their five-point plan includes:

  • Establishing a social justice fund
  • Supporting athlete voices
  • Creating a more inclusive work culture
  • Leveraging leaguewide influence
  • Ongoing community engagement

"Our entire organization has a responsibility in joining our players to influence and empower people around the issue of social justice," the action plan states.

The Nets were eliminated from the 2020 NBA playoffs in the first round by the reigning champion Toronto Raptors on Sunday, but they're expected to emerge as title contenders next season, led by the superstar tandem of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.