More than 100 employees at the NBA's league office in New York walked off the job on Friday (August 28) in solidarity with the players who refused to play to protest the racial injustices and police brutality. The employees penned a letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver and deputy commissioner Mark Tatum demanding that the league take a more active role in trying to solve the issues of police brutality and racial injustice.
"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," the employees wrote.
They praised the league for the work it has done but pointed out that most of the efforts have been player-led, while the league has taken a back seat.
"The NBA has not done enough proactively and rather has relied too heavily on our players. They have been inspirational leaders in the movement for social reform, and are carrying a burden that should not be theirs alone. That needs to change. We understand that we are a business, but fears of losing revenue and advertisers should not numb us to the cries of Black, men, women, and children that continue to be oppressed in the same communities in which we play," the letter continued.
Silver sent an email to the league's employees voicing his support for the players and their decision to sit out games. He promised that the NBA would continue working to bring about "real change both within our organization and communities across the country."
"I understand that some of you feel the league should be doing more. I hear you — and please know that I am focused on ensuring that we as a league are affecting real change both within our organization and communities across the country. Through the efforts of our internal Social Justice Task Force and the commitments we made, including the formation of the first-ever NBA Foundation to create greater economic empowerment in the Black community, we are dedicated to driving the sustainable change that is long overdue," Silver wrote.
The striking employees are holding virtual brainstorming sessions to develop a plan which they hope to present to Silver next week.
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