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- The NBA launched a new foundation to provide greater economic opportunities in Black communities.
- The money will be generated from the NBA team owners.
The team owners of the NBA have committed to collectively donating $300 million to a charity advocating for civil rights, a move aligned with the goals of the Black Lives Matter protests and dialogue that took center stage following the police killing of George Floyd in May.
Reuters reports that the donation sum will be made over the next 10 years. The funding will be generated by each of the 30 NBA teams’ owners contributing $1 million annually over the course of the decade.
The charitable foundation in question is being launched by the NBA itself, eponymously called the NBA Foundation.
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Launched on Wednesday, the NBA Foundation was started by the league’s board of governors and the players’ union to improve the Black community’s access to economic resources and empowerment.
With a heavy emphasis on education, the charity seeks “to increase access and support for high school, college-aged and career-ready Black men and women, and assist national and local organizations that provide skills training, mentorship, coaching and pipeline development in NBA markets and communities across the United States and Canada,” per the organization’s press release.
The NBA Foundation will also work in tandem with local affiliations, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), to provide resources that will create internships and networking programs within Black communities.
“The creation of this foundation is an important step in developing more opportunities for the Black community,” said National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) President Chris Paul in the statement. “I am proud of our league and our players for their commitment to this long-term fight for equality and justice, and I know we will continue to find ways to keep pushing for meaningful institutional change.”
The NBA is the latest organization to use its resources to advance Black advocacy and civil rights. In June, Adidas vowed to fill at least 30 percent of its vacant job positions with workers of color and finance 50 college scholarships for Black students every year over the next five years. The news came following employee claims that the sportswear company continually profits off of Black culture while not supporting it socially or economically.
Another major donation was given to Xavier University, an HBCU located in New Orleans by an anonymous donor later revealed to be McKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos. Scott donated $20 million to the school, the largest donation in its history. The money will reportedly go toward need-based scholarships and faculty funding.
In its press announcement, NBA leadership touches on the need for entities with excess resources to contribute to closing the socioeconomic gap Black Americans face due to lingering systemic racism.
“Given the resources and incredible platform of the NBA, we have the power to ideate, implement and support substantive policies that reflect the core principles of equality and justice we embrace,” said NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts. “This Foundation will provide a framework for us to stay committed and accountable to these principles.”
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