Report: Around 100 NBA Employees Strike in Support of Players for Social Justice

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2020

Members of the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz kneel together around the Black Lives Matter logo on the court during the national anthem before the start of an NBA basketball game Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Around 100 employees at the NBA league office in New York City reportedly went on strike Friday to support efforts by NBA and WNBA players to promote racial justice.

ESPN's Malika Andrews provided details about the strike:

Malika Andrews @malika_andrews

Employees sent a letter to Adam Silver and Mark Tatum saying, in part: “We believe the NBA, its leadership, and the Board of Governors unequivocally have the leverage to do more to directly address and combat police brutality and systemic racism in this country.” https://t.co/dgFLiuqdZY

NBA commissioner Adam Silver sent a letter to employees saying he supported the NBA and WNBA players' efforts, per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic:

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

NBA commissioner Adam Silver pens letter to league employees, obtained by @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium: “I wholeheartedly support NBA and WNBA players and their commitment to shining a light on important issues of social justice.” https://t.co/2SPEunp64I

The league announced Friday's playoff games have been postponed but noted all 13 teams still active in the postseason will host a practice and media availability.

NBA executive vice president Mike Bass previously released a statement saying the league hoped to resume games "either Friday or Saturday."

The WNBA postponed games on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday's games remain scheduled so far.

Meanwhile, Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported background details of discussions between NBA players and owners about the steps needed to resume play.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James left a players-only meeting at one point and said, "We're out." He ultimately returned for a talk with the owners and, after urging them to make a bigger commitment to helping Black communities, reversed course and said he'd play the rest of the playoffs, per Haynes.

"After the meeting, James felt comfortable with returning to the court, sources said," Haynes wrote. "Owners promised that they would get to work on real action items that would benefit the Black community, sources said."

Two days of uncertainty came following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, in Wisconsin on Sunday. Video of the incident has sparked renewed protests after the killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis Police custody in May led to worldwide Black Lives Matter marches.

The 2019-20 NBA season was previously delayed over four months beginning in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.