Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which, hey, understandable), you’ll know that over the past few days, the NBA has been in the news. Not only is it playoffs season, but just a few days ago, every team in the playoffs decided to engage in a work stoppage — otherwise known as a strike — in order to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin, who was shot 7 times in the back by a police officer while walking away from him and trying to get in his car. The tidal wave of strikes started with the Milwaukee Bucks, a team that is not so far from Kenosha, and soon spread to every team in the bubble in Orlando.
Since then, the NBPA, the National Basketball Players Association, otherwise known as the union for all NBA talent, has been in negotiation with management to figure out how to expand their impact beyond the bubble and into an America that is reeling from protests over racist violence. Those negotiations appear to have gone fairly well — and while the NBA players are now ready to resume play, there are some awesome things they’ve managed to secure for the American people.
Namely, voting locations. Considering that the entire NBA is playing in Orlando, Florida right now, and the 29 basketball stadiums across the country are currently standing empty, unused for practices, sports, or anything else, the NBA players and management had a great idea: why not turn them into polling locations?
So, on November 3, arenas across the country will become polling locations, adding 29 to the national count. This is a huge deal in the midst of COVID — arenas are massive, and there can likely be plenty of voting booths and socially distanced ones, at that. The NBA and the players also agreed to creating a coalition for “social justice” that includes players, coaches and NBA governors to discuss voting access, police and criminal justice reform.
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