The NBA playoffs will resume Saturday after the league and the National Basketball Players Association detailed commitments that made players comfortable continuing.
In a joint statement released Friday, the sides said they would immediately establish a social justice coalition, made up of players, coaches and owners, that would focus on issues such as voting access and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform.
Play stopped Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks didn't take the court for their playoff game against Orlando, showing their frustration with the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin and acts of racial injustice.
Games were postponed the last two days before a meeting between owners and players Thursday in which an agreement to resume was reached.
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On Friday, the Dallas Mavericks confirmed that following their Game 6 boycott they have pledged "'7 Days of ACTION' to combat the racial injustices occurring around the country to bring attention to, lead change and invest in organizations fighting racial disparities and inequities in DFW."
The team said their "Mavs Take ACTION!" plan was created in early June following protests around the death of George Floyd. Below is more on the plan from a Dallas Mavericks press release.
In early June amidst daily protests on the streets of downtown Dallas and around the world, the Dallas Mavericks launched the “Mavs Take ACTION!” plan to address racial inequalities, promote social justice and drive change in Dallas/Fort Worth. Standing strong in the belief that every voice matters and everybody belongs, the plan engages partners on more than 40 key initiatives across six systems including Education, Employment, Child Welfare, Criminal Justice, Public Policy and Healthcare to address the root causes of systemic racism and make Dallas/Fort Worth a great place to live, work and play. Over the past two months, the Mavs organization has set out to make good on a pledge of over $5 million and 10,000 hours of community service and action.
Following the boycott of Game 6 of the Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers first-round playoff series, the Mavericks have pledged 7 days of ACTION! to combat the racial injustices occurring around the country to bring attention to, lead change and invest in organizations fighting racial disparities and inequities in DFW.
ADVOCACY: The Dallas Mavericks and American Airlines Center proudly announce that on this Election Day, November 3, the home of the Mavs and the Dallas Stars will also be home to the largest polling place in Dallas County. Registered voters in Dallas County will be able to vote at the arena. Mavs employees will also have the day off to serve, as one of three social justice/community service days they receive. To register to vote, visit dallascountyvotes.org.
Engaging in efforts to ensure every voice is heard and action is taken.
COMMUNICATION: Led by Vice President of Basketball Operations Michael Finley, The Huddle is a monthly gathering to listen, learn and unite with a diverse group of current and former Mavs players, team representatives and community figures. Finley will host courageous conversations on various topics. The Huddle invites open and honest dialogue with a goal of eliminating racial divides, uplifting communities and empowering future generations. Information on upcoming The Huddle events will be announced soon.
Being active listeners and creating safe spaces for dialogue and understanding.
TRAINING: The Mavs organization has created an internal offering to employees called Experiences of Understanding, which features a speaker series and small group conversations. Goals for the Experiences of Understanding are to educate and encourage healthy dialogue to create positive change within the DFW community. Featured speakers include Jane Elliott, Dr. Eddie Glaude, Allyson Felix and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
Providing resources and education to know, grow and act.
INVESTMENT: Alongside Head Coach Rick Carlisle, the Mavs Foundation pledges $200,000 to support Mothers Against Police Brutality, an organization that serves to be the voice for victims of police brutality and deadly force. The donation will benefit MAPB’s Fellowship Program and their mission to fight for civil rights, police accountability and policy reform.
Additionally, the Mavericks proudly support Project Unity, an organization that hosts dialogue, community-building events and activities to heal racial divides in the city of Dallas. Cynt Marshall, CEO of Dallas Mavericks, will serve as one of Project Unity’s “Together We Can” 2020-21 Honorary Co-Chairs. Together We Can is a movement to educate, enable and empower a lifestyle of mindfulness and action against racism. The Mavericks pledge $25,000 to support Project Unity’s “Together We Dine” and other programs that allow for safe courageous conversations about racial inequities.
Committing financial and in-kind resources to support income and education disparities and meet critical needs for underserved communities. Investments will specifically support: education, employment and economic development and community programs.
OUTREACH: The Dallas Mavericks (NBA), Dallas Wings (WNBA), Texas Legends (G League) and Mavs Gaming (NBA 2K) partner together to encourage and promote civic engagement in the awareness of voter registration and education to the DFW community. DFW Voter Alliance aims to amplify DFW citizens’ voices in the local and national elections – for the present and future.
Connecting communities, building relationships, and fostering unity through basketball.
NOISE: Leveraging music as a vehicle to lift voices, share messages, shift perspectives and advance change, Truth to Power serves to create a more unified, equitable and inspired common culture. The Dallas Mavericks will support Mavs’ broadcaster Jeff “Skin” Wade and Eastwood Music Group’s produced album benefiting the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation and DFW’s Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurship.
Boldly promoting change and encouraging others to do the same through leadership and the arts.
As part of the Back to School support, the Mavericks pledge a $1,000,000 Personal Protective Equipment donation to Dallas Independent School District (DISD). The donation will cover PPE for every student (155,000), teacher (12,000) and staff member (12,000) in DISD and includes reusable masks, face shields, hand sanitizer pumps, personal hand sanitizer units and antibacterial wipes. With the continued surge in COVID-19 cases across North Texas, the organization wants to do its part to slow the spread and strengthen the educators facing this virus on the front lines and to address the disproportional impact of COVID-19 on underserved communities and people of color.
The Mavs Take ACTION! plan stemmed from the Mavs Courageous Conversations community event held on June 9, at American Airlines Center. The conversation, led by Mavs players, staff and partners and Dallas leaders, centered around systemic racism and disparities facing the African American community. The event included three conversations: “Reactions” to the George Floyd murder (Panel); “Welcome to my World” experiential exercise (small groups); and “Where are we now and where do we go from here” (Panel). Speakers/guests for the morning included: Mavs owner Mark Cuban, CEO Cynt Marshall, Mavs players and coaches, Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa, Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall, Dallas County Judge Jenkins and others. The invited panelists represented the following systems: education, criminal justice/police, healthcare, housing, financial, child welfare, and sports and entertainment.
To read more about the Mavs Take ACTION! plan and all that has been accomplished to date, visit mavs.com/mavstakeaction.