NBA Announces Social Justice AwardJake Cooper | 14 May 2021
Making the world a better place by fighting against the scurvy of social injustice and racial inequality is high on NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s list of lifetime commitments. All of which makes it so much more special that the NBA has now created an award bearing the famous Hall of Famer’s name: the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award.
Announced for the very first time on Thursday, the special award will recognise those players making headway in the fight for social justice. The award will be handed down following a process of nominations – with each team nominating one player for consideration.
Once the names have been nominated, five finalists will then be shortlisted before the announcement of the ultimate victor.
Hats Off To The NBA
Abdul-Jabbar said following the news of the award that he felt exceptionally proud of what the league has been doing for activism and social justice. He told the media that he considered the NBA to have excelled above and beyond with the special new initiative and added that having been granted the enormous privilege of being involved with the award in such an intimate way was exceptionally meaningful to him personally.
The ultimate winner of the award will receive $100,000 to be given to a charity of their choice, while the remaining four finalists on the shortlist will each receive $25,000 – for the same charitable purpose.
A Deserving Namesake
As for the naming of the award, said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a special press release, Abdul-Jabbar has devoted the better portion of his life to fighting and rallying for equality and justice. Silver said the league had launched the award with immense pride in the drive and commitment to social justice displayed by its players.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has indeed spent the biggest part of his life fighting as an activist for equality and weeding out racism and social injustice.
Inspired by the great Dr Martin Luther King Jr. at the age of only 17, Abdul-Jabbar had from early on in his life realised the importance of fighting for what’s right. Being an activist was essentially part of his very fibre from a very young age, said Abdul-Jabbar while commenting on the award.
He said he considered it a family tradition and something that, to him, just made perfect sense – a way of life. The only way to rectify what’s wrong is to speak up and bring about change, said the NBA legend.