NBA Announces Plans to Turn Team Arenas Into Voting Centers Ahead of 2020 Election

The NBA is looking to do something huge for the 2020 presidential election. On Friday, the league announced a three-point plan to promote social justice and racial equality. One of these points is turning NBA arenas into voting centers.

"In every city where the league franchise owns and controls the arena property, team governors will continue to work with local elections officials to convert the facility into a voting location for the 2020 general election to allow for a safe in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to COVID," NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a joint statement. "If a deadline has passed, team governors will work with local elections officials to find another election-related use for the facility, including but not limited to voter registration and ballot receiving boards."

According to The Hill, some NBA teams, including the Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks have announced plans to use their arenas for polling locations in November. This announcement comes a couple of days after the Bucks made the decision to boycott their playoff game against the Orlando Magic. The team was protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year old Black man from Wisconsin who was shot seven times by police. When the Bucks boycotted their playoff games, the league decide to postpone the three playoff games scheduled for Wednesday.

“We had a candid, impassioned and productive conversation yesterday between NBA players, coaches and team governors regarding next steps to further our collective efforts and actions in support of social justice and racial equality," Roberts and Silver said. "Among others, the attendees included player and team representatives of all 13 teams in Orlando. All parties agreed to resume NBA playoff games on Saturday."

Along with NBA teams working to get their arenas tuned into polling centers, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is doing his part to get more Black men and women to vote this year. According to the New York Times, James is helping spearhead a multimillion-dollar campaign to recruit poll workers in Black electoral districts. The group is called More Than a Vote and it includes NFL's Patrick Mahomes and Damian Lillard, and WNBA star Lisa Leslie. According to CNN, polling locations across the country are facing worker shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic.