Report: Carmelo Anthony, Doc Rivers Among NBA's Social Justice Coalition Board

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2020

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers talks before Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a rally at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

The NBA's Social Justice Coalition Board will include team governors Micky Arison, Steve Ballmer, Clay Bennett, Marc Lasry and Vivek Ranadive; players Carmelo Anthony, Avery Bradley, Sterling Brown, Donovan Mitchell and Karl-Anthony Towns; and coaches Lloyd Pierce and Doc Rivers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum and NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts will also sit on the board. The NBA and NBPA created the Social Justice Coalition "to advance equality and social justice" after the Milwaukee Bucks and other teams walked out on games in August in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

After temporarily boycotting play, putting a halt to the first round of the playoffs, the Bucks players released the following statement:

"The past four months have shed a light on the ongoing racial injustices facing our African-American communities. Citizens around the country have used their voices and platforms to speak out against these wrongdoings.

"Over the last few days in our home state of Wisconsin, we've seen the horrendous video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, and the additional shooting of protestors. Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.

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"When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort and hold each other accountable. We hold ourselves to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from our lawmakers and law enforcement."

While some players advocated for ending the season altogether at that point, they returned and finished the postseason. That led to the creation of the Social Justice Coalition, with the NBA and NBPA announcing in a joint statement in late August that it would focus on "increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform."

The NBA's players have been very active in recent years using their platform to enact meaningful social change. With this coalition, those efforts will be joined by the league office, team governors and coaches as the NBA seeks to use its overall platform for good.