The NBA announces the league will not hold games on Election Day

The NBA announces that the league will not hold games originally aired on NBC Sports Boston on Election Day

The NBA will not host any games on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2022, according to a league memo released Tuesday. In addition, all 30 teams play in a “Night of Civic Engagement” the day before. The full league schedule will be released tomorrow afternoon.

“We don’t normally change our schedule for an outside event, but the vote and Election Day are obviously unique and incredibly important to our democracy and that’s part of the value proposition that we want to make sure people understand that the vote is different than anything else. said James Cadogan, Executive Director of the League’s Social Justice Coalition.

When asked about concerns about people accusing the NBA of making symbolic gestures, Cadogan responded by simply saying, “Symbols are really important.”

The decision to black out Election Day was inspired by the NBA family’s “focus on fostering bipartisan engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan to vote during the midterm elections.”

This announcement is the league’s latest move to encourage and support voting efforts across the country.

Over the past two years, the NBA has consistently emerged as one of the loudest voices in sports, speaking out on political and social issues such as gun violence and abortion rights. While independent players and coaches have had their say in the past, this league-wide movement can be traced to changes made ahead of the 2020 NBA bubble following a series of unarmed black deaths including Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

Many NBA players and coaches joined in the national outrage, and some teams like the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted a game in the bubble following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. Over 80% of NBA and WNBA players are players of color, the most in any major sports league.

In the bubble, many players and coaches chose to kneel during the national anthem and took a page from Colin Kaepernick’s book. The league also created courts that prominently featured the phrase “Black Lives Matter” and invited players to swap the last name of their jerseys for social justice messages. The list of 31 options included phrases from “I Can’t Breathe” to “Group Economics”.

Ten players – including Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies and Matisse Thybulle of the Philadelphia 76ers – voted.

During the summer of 2020, a number of sports teams agreed to open their facilities as voting centers, providing additional space for safe voting amid the pandemic. Ultimately, 23 of the 30 NBA teams opened their doors for voting activities, from registration to voting to voting.

This remains an important issue for many players in the league, including LeBron James, who co-founded More Than a Vote, a nonprofit whose mission is to “educate, motivate, and protect black voters.”

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