No NBA games to be scheduled on Election Day
The NBA says it will not schedule any games on Election Day this year as part of an effort to increase voter participation in the 2022 midterms.
The multi-billion dollar basketball league, which will release its 2022 schedule on Wednesday afternoon.
"The scheduling decision came out of the NBA family’s focus on promoting nonpartisan civic engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan to vote during midterm elections," the league said.
Instead, all 30 teams are scheduled to play the Monday before Election Day, on Nov.8, with the host teams holding an "election-based themed fan night," NBC reported.
"We don’t usually change the schedule for an external event," said James Cadogan, National Basketball Social Justice Coalition executive director. "But voting and Election Day are obviously unique and incredibly important to our democracy."
The coalition was formed after the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake, both of which were police officer-involved incidents.
The games on the Monday before Election Day "will really be the capstone to the entire start of the season where we will be communicating about the importance of civic participation, the importance of registering, the importance of getting out and voting," Cadogan also said.
The NBA's plan has been met with some criticism.
Former NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom said the civic engagement night before Election Day is a "great idea," but "[t]he issue though is, that the #NBA subliminally encourages players to vote for a certain party."
He also pointed out that the NBA's biggest supporter is China, asking, "so when they promote Civic Engagement here, [d]o they care to comment on a dictatorship they are profiting off of?"