Drawing on his experience as the former executive director of the NBA Players Association, Associate Professor Charles Grantham was featured in The Undefeated detailing a five point plan for athletes, team owners and league officials to help effectuate social justice.
The article is entitled, “Economic and social justice: What can players and leagues really do?”
Issuing what he refers to as “a challenge to the nation’s comfortable silence,” Professor Grantham writes:
As done in the past on drug addiction and HIV/AIDS, the players and owners need to engage in a “principled negotiation,” one rooted in collaboration that stresses mutual issues, rather than the positions of the parties. For example, as the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) negotiate an extension to their current collective bargaining agreement (CBA), a path forward by the players and owners could begin by agreeing to take a small amount of their shared revenue (perhaps one-half of 1 percent) to create a fund to use sports as a tool to address the inferior education of inner-city schools and the deteriorating relationship between young black men and law enforcement in all NBA cities.
As youth demonstrations continue to expand, any action plan must begin with them. The joint fund could be used to financially support basketball in the public school systems, grades 5-12 in the NBA’s 30 cities, freeing school funds to be redirected to academic programs. The action plan would require the mayor, police chief and school superintendents’ cooperation to receive the funds. It could use appearances by current and retired NBA players with law enforcement officers to create and inspire improved relationships in the communities. This can also be achieved by the NFL/NFL Players Association (NFLPA), despite their poor labor/management relationship. The leagues’ political lobby could aid the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the NAACP should they pursue an amendment to the Civil Rights Act, in order to allow the Justice Department prosecutorial authority in the most egregious instances of officer-involved shootings.
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