NBA and players say games will resume on Saturday and arenas can be used for voting

The details of the agreement for the resumption of the NBA 1:10

(CNN) – The NBA and the players association say competition will resume on Saturday, with no playoff games on Friday.

In a statement released Friday, the league and the players union jointly reported a commitment to establish a social justice coalition and voting initiatives. That includes the use of arenas as polling places and the sharing of voting information in announcements during the playoffs.

Nine games have been postponed since Wednesday, when the Milwaukee Bucks became the first team to opt out of play in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Wisconsin on Sunday.

“The NBA and its players agreed to immediately establish a social justice coalition, with representatives of players, coaches and governors, that will focus on a wide range of issues, including increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement and advocating for police reform and criminal justice, ”reads the statement from NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

A court looks empty after the scheduled start time of Game 5 of an NBA first-round playoff series.

“In all cities where the league franchise owns and controls ownership of the arena, the team governors will continue to work with local election officials to convert the facility into a polling place for the 2020 general election in order to enable a secure in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to covid. If a deadline has passed, the team governors will work with local election officials to find another election-related use for the facility, including but not limited to voter registration and ballot receiving boards.

“The league will work with players and our network partners to create and include advertisements in each NBA playoff game dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in national and local elections and raising awareness of access and opportunities for the voters.

The announcement followed news that Michael Jordan would serve as a go-between for players and owners.

Jordan, who is the only black majority owner in the league, also serves as chair of the NBA’s Labor Relations Committee. After Thursday’s three playoff games were postponed, the NBA announced a meeting between the players and management to discuss how to proceed.

And at that meeting, Jordan, a former player and current owner of the Charlotte Hornets, became the primary mediator, according to ESPN.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has since reported on the NBA players’ decision to return to the postseason.

The postponement of Thursday’s playoff games came after Milwaukee Bucks players decided not to play the Orlando Magic on Wednesday after the Blake shooting.

After the WNBA announcement of the games postponed for the night, the Washington Mystics wear white jerseys with seven bullets in the back in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Three other NBA postseason games were canceled Wednesday, as well as a full day in other American sports.

Meanwhile, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers, who is leading a multi-million dollar campaign to recruit poll workers in black constituencies before the November election, continued to call for voter turnout on Twitter.

Change doesn’t happen just by talking! It happens with action and it must happen NOW! For my children at @IPROMISESchool, the children and communities across the country, it is up to us to make a difference. Together. So your vote is @morethanavote ».

Blake, a black man, was shot in the back by police on Sunday while trying to enter his vehicle in Kenosha, Wisconsin. His shooting became the latest incident to spark nationwide outrage over racial injustice and police brutality.

‘This is not a strike. This is not a boycott ‘

Like its male counterparts, the WNBA postponed Thursday’s games, the second consecutive night of adjournments, to “continue discussions and reflection on recent events.”

On Thursday, the entire league of WNBA players joined arms in solidarity, while Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks, who is the president of the National Association of Women’s Basketball Players (WNBPA), spoke with Holly Rowe of ESPN. .

“It is important to note that this is not a strike,” said Ogwumike, reading a statement from the players. This is not a strike. This is affirmatively a day of reflection. A day of informed action and mobilization ».

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