Boston Celtics Are First NBA Franchise to Reveal Plan to Combat Racial Injustice

The club has made a $25 million commitment over the next 10 years to the cause

Boston Celtics Are First NBA Franchise to Reveal Plan to Combat Racial Injustice
Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics celebrate a playoff victory.
Getty Images

This week, the Boston Celtics became the first NBA franchise to reveal their plan to help combat racial injustice and focus on social issues in the local Black community.

The organization’s plan, which includes a $20 million cash commitment and another $5 million in media assets and marketing, will focus on six specific issues that affect Black and brown communities in Greater Boston: criminal justice and law enforcement, equity in education, economic opportunity and empowerment, equity in health care, breaking down barriers and building bridges between communities, and voting and civic engagement.

Team employees are part of six committees that have been created to study each one of those individual issues, and they have been meeting virtually all summer.

Celtics managing partner Steve Pagliuca will be running the program for Boston.

“As soon as we saw the George Floyd situation, we got together with [majority governor] Wyc Grousbeck and [team president] Rich Gotham and Dave Hoffman with the idea that this is unacceptable,” Pagliuca told The Boston Globe. “We talked about a lot of different things. My view of the meeting was we could do some quick-hitting things that might be helpful, but this is a large, long-term systemic problem. It’s a lot worse [than we thought]. I thought our country was getting better, but the events of the last three months have said absolutely not. Instead of maybe doing some kind of donation or gesture, we said get our whole staff, a team of people, and study this issue.”

Boston’s plan also included input from Celtics players including Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Enes Kanter.

In August, the NBA unveiled a $300 million plan to develop economic growth in Black communities that required every team in the league to donate at least $1 million per year to the cause for a decade.

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!