The National Basketball Association (NBA) has announced that arenas across the country including New York City’s Madison Square Garden and The Forum in Los Angeles will be converted into polling locations for the 2020 Presidential election that takes place on Tuesday, November 3. The move is part of an agreement between the NBA and its Players Association after a recent protest of systemic racism from NBA and professional sport teams across the country in the wake of another police brutality incident that took place late last month in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
With the agreement, essentially every U.S. city in which the NBA has a franchise will have an arena-sized polling place for the upcoming election of the nation’s highest public office. Within hours after the official announcement from league officials, the Board of Elections in New York City announced it was partnering with Madison Square Garden to make the arena an “Early Voting and Election Day poll site for the general election.” With the iconic arena’s capability to serve over 60,000 eligible voters, the Madison Square Garden immediately won the title of largest polling location in New York City.
Joint NBA and NBPA statement: pic.twitter.com/EFp6fG9oZs
— NBA (@NBA) August 28, 2020
According to a joint statement from the Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the two parties also agreed to establishing a “social justice coalition” comprised of league players, coaches and governors that will be focused on “increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform.”
The two parties also agreed to a third plan of action by way of creating TV spots and advertisements “dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement” in elections and “raising awareness around voter access and opportunity.” The statement also indicates that the league is working with network partners to ensure the TV spots air during each remaining NBA playoff game this season.