We have always supported civil rights organizations like the Legal Defense Fund, Chicago Votes, Bronx Defenders, Brooklyn Defenders, National Museum of African American History and Culture and more. The NBPA will deepen its commitment to social justice by increasing our support for similar organizations that are focused on ending police brutality, addressing voter suppression and supporting economic development. We will continue to match players’ philanthropic contributions and will work to develop a leadership education series to support player efforts to advance justice.
We are actively preparing and soliciting proposals regarding ways Players competing in the games in Orlando can effectively continue their advocacy on the national stage occasioned by the games.
Finally, the NBPA has and continues to be in discussion with the League and teams regarding actions our members urge be taken as well as prospective joint social justice engagements.
Current initiatives include, but are not limited, to the following:
Police Accountability Project
We laud, encourage and will actively support current efforts to pass federal legislation designed to influence and deter misconduct among law enforcement personnel. However, we are mindful that policing is largely a local matter managed and reviewed by local mayors, police chiefs and prosecutors. Federal enforcement/investigations after the fact do little to pre-empt future misconduct. Rogue law enforcement officials persist in abusing communities of color largely because of their confidence - borne out by the historic failures of their respective jurisdictions - to document, investigate or prosecute those who abuse their authority.
The mission of the Police Accountability Project [“PAP”] is principally two-fold:
(1) Create and manage a nation-wide database of instances of police misconduct and abuse
(2) Initiate and/or support community efforts to remove those local officials in those jurisdictions evidencing historical indifference to or affirmative protection of predatory police officers.
The NBPA will identify - or, if necessary, fund the creation of - an organization(s) capable of the creation and management of the data. Further, the NBPA will partner with and support organizations and community leaders who are working to measure and document the instances of police misconduct and are taking action to remove those officials which permit the perpetuation of police violence against people of color.
Increased Civic Participation
Civic engagement is a vital part of reform. To that end, last year we launched an initiative to increase voter registration and voter turnout among our members. Before the season was suspended, we had registered players on 9 teams. Those efforts will continue in Orlando this summer and become a permanent part of our player support efforts in the future. This sustained time with the players will also allow us to engage in more intense policy and ballot education.