The NBA Player’s Association issued a statement of support for Trayvon Martin, the immediate arrest of George Zimmerman, and also a plan for direct action against the Sanford Police Department. The NBPA issued this public statement on its website:
“The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) offers its condolences to the family and loved ones of Trayvon Martin in their time of need. The NBPA is saddened and horrified by the tragic murder of Mr. Martin and joins in the chorus of calls from across the nation for the prompt arrest of George Zimmerman. The reported facts surrounding Mr. Zimmerman’s actions indicate a callous disregard for Mr. Martin’s young life and necessitate that he stand trial. The NBPA also calls for the permanent resignation of Sanford Chief of Police Bill Lee and a full review of the Sanford Police Department, for dereliction of duty and racial bias in this matter and others. Their silence in the face of this injustice is reprehensible and they cannot be trusted to safe guard the citizens of the Sanford community equally. The NBPA seeks to ensure that Trayvon Martin’s murder not go unpunished and the elimination of the injustices suffered by the innocent.”
This NBA Player’s Association have often led the way in using their unified voice in pursuit of social justice beyond basketball (hat tip: Ben Golliver). In 2011, the NBPA expressed support for workers during a labor disagreement in Wisconsin, and in 2010, the union supported professional basketball players in Greece as they considered a strike.
The NBPA’s strong statement follows the All-Star leadership of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and the Miami Heat; Amare Soudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and the New York Knicks; Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns, and many strong statements from lesser known players.
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