Almost 100 NBA employees stage walkout to support NBA, WNBA players in protesting social injustice

Nearly 100 NBA employees across departments staged a one-day walkout Friday in solidarity with NBA and WNBA players to protest social injustice, and they were contacting Wisconsin law enforcement and elected officials in an effort to effect change, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the walkout.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also sent an e-mail to league employees after NBA players declined to play on Wednesday and after three days without playoff games on the NBA campus at Disney near Orlando, Florida.

"I understand that some of you feel the league should be doing more. I hear you – and please know that I am focused on ensuring that we as a league are effecting real change both within our organization and in communities across the country," a portion of the e-mail read. 

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he fully supports NBA and WNBA players as they fight against social injustice. (Photo: Ashley Landis, USA TODAY Sports)

NBA teams have returned to practice and are expected to resume the playoffs on Saturday.

Here is Silver’s e-mail:

Dear Colleagues,

I have heard from several of you directly and I understand the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us are feeling in this moment. These are incredibly challenging times, especially for those of you on our campuses in Orlando and Bradenton who are far away from your family and friends.

First, let me say that I wholeheartedly support NBA and WNBA players and their commitment to shining a light on important issues of social justice. While I don’t walk in the same shoes as Black men and women, I can see the trauma and fear that racialized violence causes and how it continues the painful legacy of racial inequity that persists in our country.

Yesterday we had a candid and productive conversation with NBA players, coaches and team governors regarding next steps to further our collective efforts and actions in support of social justice and racial equality. The discussion centered around how we can best collaborate to address a broad range of issues, including increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for police and criminal justice reform. We will be finalizing initial details and will be able to share more specifics ahead of a statement to the public slated for later today.

I understand that some of you feel the league should be doing more. I hear you – and please know that I am focused on ensuring that we as a league are effecting real change both within our organization and in communities across the country. Through the efforts of our internal Social Justice Task Force and the commitments we made, including the formation of the first-ever NBA Foundation to create greater economic empowerment in the Black community, we are dedicated to driving the sustainable change that is long overdue.

We are here to listen and I encourage you to be as open and honest as you can. If you have any questions, concerns or ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Mark Tatum, Oris Stuart or your HR Business Partner. We are always here to support you.

Warm regards,

Adam

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