As the NBA works to support social justice movements across the United States, the association is creating a new award to recognize those who do the most for their causes.
On Thursday, the NBA announced the formation of the new Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award. Named for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and a social justice activist, the award recognizes “a player who best embodies his striving for social justice and racial equality.”
In an interview with The Undefeated, the NBA legend thanked the association for honoring him and continuing to promote social justice. He said he’s happy how the NBA has worked the award out given his history in the movement.
“It’s nice to see the NBA try to promote social justice awareness, and I am very flattered they would see fit to name the award after me,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “I know I have some history with this, so I’m happy the way it’s worked out.”
Introducing the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award, a new annual honor that will recognize a current NBA player for pursuing social justice and upholding the league’s decades-long values of equality, respect and inclusion. pic.twitter.com/a0A7xqg6uU
— NBA (@NBA) May 13, 2021
All 30 NBA teams will have one player nominated. A panel consisting of NBA executives, social justice activities and former NBA players will determine the winner.
The winner of the award will receive a $100,000 donation to the organization of his choosing. Four additional finalists will also receive $25,000 donations each.
The NBA became one of the nation’s most outspoken sports leagues in favor of social justice following the movements which rose to national attention last summer.
There will be many deserving candidates nominated for the new Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award. Who do you think is the best candidate to get it?