The NBA just got a lot more serious about the American public using their right to vote.
The US midterm elections are coming up in November, and with the pivotal decisions that will be made, the NBA is taking action by not scheduling any games for that entire day.
Come November 8, the US Congress will be up for grabs, with all 435 house seats being in limbo alongside more than 30 Senate seats and gubernatorial races on top of that. So, the league released a statement hoping that everyone takes their voting rights seriously.
“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 Tuesday.
The league acknowledges that the move is groundbreaking and recognizes how vital taking to the ballots is.
“It’s unusual. We don’t usually change the schedule for an external event,” James Cadogan, the executive director of the NBA’s social justice coalition, told NBC. “But voting and Election Day are obviously unique and incredibly important to our democracy.”
The league continues to prove why it is lightyears ahead of other professional sports organizations in terms of empowering its players’ political choices while fighting injustice.
“The NBA is creating a culture of political participation, which extends not only to its athletes but to fans as well,” said Andrea Hailey, the CEO of Vote.org. “Players, coaches, event staff, and fans all deserve to have the time and space to make their voices heard at the ballot box. The league is setting an important precedent that I hope other businesses and leagues will follow.”
While that day will be dedicated to civic duties, the NBA will unveil the entire 2022-23 schedule soon. However, we know that the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat will take their talents to Mexico come December 17. This marks the NBA’s 31st game below the border, the most outside the States and, of course, Canada.