NBA Foundation commits $300M to Black economic growth

The NBA’s Board of Governors and the National Basketball Players Association created a new non-profit to help empower the Black community

An overview of the basketball court shows the NBA logo and Black Lives Matter before the start of a game between the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat at HP Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 01, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Together, the NBA Board of Governors and the National Basketball Players Association have confirmed plans to create the first of its kind NBA Foundation dedicated to empowering economic growth in the Black community. The Foundation is committing $300 million in the next decade.

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According to the official press release, each individual team will donate $1 million annually, totaling $30 million over 10 years. The foundation will be led by an eight-person Board of Directors, with four seats going to representatives from the Board of Governors, three to NBPA players and executives, and the final one to the league office.

NBPA President Chris Paul announced the plans on the eve of the NBA’s restart on July 30. NBA players have been some of the most vocal public figures speaking out about criminal justice, anti-racism, police brutality, and Black financial literacy.

“The creation of this foundation is an important step in developing more opportunities for the Black community,” Paul said 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.”

“All NBA team governors recognize our unique position to effect change and we are committed to supporting and empowering young Black men and women in each of our team markets as well as communities across the U.S. and Canada,” NBA Board of Governors Chairman and Toronto Raptors Governor Larry Tanenbaum says according to the official release.

New Orleans Pelicans v Sacramento Kings
Sacramento Kings players kneel in support of the Black Lives Matter movement prior to an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans at HP Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 6, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)

The NBA hopes to sustain the league’s efforts to important causes through the public charity. The initiative aligns with “the NBA family’s commitment to racial equality and social justice.” Other actions such as painting ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the courts and players sporting social justice messages on their jerseys also support these aspirations.

“We are dedicated to using the collective resources of the 30 teams, the players and the league to drive meaningful economic opportunities for Black Americans,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. 

He continues, “we believe that through focused programs in our team markets and nationally, together with clear and specific performance measures, we can advance our shared goals of creating substantial economic mobility within the Black community.” 

NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts adds, “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.”

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The NBA Foundation will “focus on three critical employment transition points: obtaining a first job, securing employment following high school or college, and career advancement once employed.”

Working with both local and national organizations, the organization will work to secure employment, mentorship, internships, networking opportunities, and more. There will also be a specific partnership with historically Black colleges and universities. 

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