Sports | August 28, 2020 3:12 pm

NBA to Turn Arenas Into Voting Locations for 2020 General Election

That effort will be one of the first moves of the league's new social justice coalition

NBA Voting
A general view of AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex.
Getty Images

In an effort to make players comfortable continuing to play basketball in the bubble instead of leaving to protest in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police, the NBA and NBAPA have established a social justice coalition that will focus on issues like access to voting and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform.

Made up of players, coaches and owners, the coalition will make one of its first orders of business to work with local elections officials in every city where a league franchise owns and controls an arena to convert the facility into a voting location for the 2020 general election in November.

Where that isn’t possible, team governors will work with local elections officials to find another election-related use for the facility, such as being used for voter registration or ballot receiving.

As part of the social justice coalition announcement, the NBA announced the playoffs will resume on Saturday. When they do, the TV broadcasts will include ads “dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in national and local elections and raising awareness around voter access and opportunity.”

“These commitments follow months of close collaboration around designing a safe and healthy environment to restart the NBA season, providing a platform to promote social justice, as well as creating an NBA Foundation focused on economic empowerment in the Black community,” NBPA executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a joint statement. “We look forward to the resumption of the playoffs and continuing to work together — in Orlando and in all NBA team markets — to push for meaningful and sustainable change.”