NBA Social Justice Coalition wants to 'change the law, change the world'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The NBA Social Justice Coalition is establishing more of its presence and core issues with a video published to Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday. 

The coalition was established as a partnership by the NBA, NBA Players Association and NBA Coaches Association (NBCA) in November 2020 and has released statements over the past year addressing racial and social inequality issues in the news. But it had yet to have a social media presence until late last month with a single post reading "Justice for Ahmaud Arbery.

Jrue Holiday, Carmelo Anthony, Karl-Anthony Towns, Malcolm Brogdon and Donovan Mitchell appear in the new two-minute clip describing the organization and its mission. 

"Our goal is really simple," James Cadogan, the coalition's executive director, said in the clip. "We want to take moments of protest, moments of people power like we saw last year, and turn them into public policy. We want to change laws."

The video included a graphic reading, "change the law, change the world." The organization included voting, policing and criminal justice as its core issues to address.

NBA, players establish social justice council 

Jimmy Butler
Playesr wore "VOTE" T-shirts while in the bubble in Orlando last fall ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. (Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

The coalition is a collaborative effort to raise awareness, educate and advocate for meaningful policy change in these three areas specifically. It also aims to address racial inequity broadly. 

Its council follows the lead of the WNBA and WNBA Players Association (WNBPA), which established a social justice council in July 2020 while announcing its bubble season dedicated to social justice. Players met virtually with community leaders and families impacted by police violence throughout their season to highlight the issue. They focused on media interviews and getting out information about voting as it came closer to the election. Their work on the council continued into 2021. 

The NBA's social justice council has also already been at work. NBA arenas opened for voters during the 2020 presidential election and teams have held virtual conversations with NBA stars and leaders in work such as policing and government.

In April, Cadogan was appointed to the executive position to lead the council. He formerly worked in the Barack Obama administration as a senior official in the U.S. Department of Justice where he was a counselor to the U.S. Attorney General and senior counselor and director of policy in the Civil Rights Division. Cadogan has also worked for the Thurgood Marshall Institute at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and most recently Arnold Ventures, where he oversaw a grant portfolio on criminal justice reform for the national philanthropy. 

The organization released a formal statement in May on policing reform legislation ahead of the one-year anniversary of George Floyd's death. It urged lawmakers to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which bans chokeholds and no-knock warrants among other changes. It advanced through the House in both 2020 and 2021, but the Senate was unable to pass it.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting