Voters cast their vote for the early voting at the Los Angeles County Registry Office in Norwalk, California on November 5, 2018.
Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images
NBA teams will work to set up polling stations in arenas for 2020 to end a players' strike over racial injustice, the league said on Friday.
In a statement, National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said they will work with local officials to convert them into polling stations in cities where franchisees own venues allow safe personal choice for. " Communities "vulnerable" to the coronavirus pandemic. When the deadlines for setting up new voting venues have expired, teams will try to use the arenas for voter registration and balloting instead.
Several NBA teams have already agreed or offered to make facilities into polling stations for the November election, while a player-led campaign was held to increase voter turnout in the face of settlement on systemic racism against black Americans. These include the Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, and Milwaukee Bucks.
Many of these teams have sprawling arenas in swing states that will help determine the outcome of this year's presidential election. Cities like Atlanta and Milwaukee saw long lines for personal votes in the primaries this year, especially in black communities, where the pandemic has been hardest hit.
Teams usually play in their home stadiums on Election Day, November 3rd. However, the pandemic delayed both the 2020 playoffs and the start of the 2020-2021 season of the league.
The Bucks led an NBA-wide game hiatus on Wednesday. They failed to speak out for a playoff game against the Orlando Magic as they protested the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man, in Kenosha, Wisc.
Many players in the predominantly black NBA feared that the league restart in Orlando late last month would distract from their efforts to tackle racial inequality in the US after police killed black Americans George Floyd and Breonna Taylor earlier this year. This week's playoff stop, which was part of broader work stoppages in the WNBA, MLB, and NHL, resulted in a broader engagement in racial justice initiatives.
Along with efforts to set up polling stations, the NBA will form a social justice coalition made up of players, coaches and governors, Roberts and Silver said. The group will focus on "improving access to voting, promoting civic engagement and advocating meaningful reform of the police and criminal justice system".
The league will also be creating ads designed to increase civic engagement during playoff games.
"We look forward to the playoff resumption and looking forward to continuing to work together – in Orlando and in all NBA team markets – to push for meaningful and lasting change," said Roberts and Silver.
The NBA will restart the playoff games on Saturday.
Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.