With falling ratings and outrage over social justice virtue signaling, the NBA is doubling down with the creation of a new award to recognize a player who best embodies efforts for social justice and racial equality, the league announced Thursday.
Named after Hall of Fame great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the league’s all-time leading scorer and a noted civil rights activist, the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award, will be announced during the playoffs and will receive $100,000 from the league to donate to an organization of his choosing.
Four additional finalists will receive $25,000.
“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, 74, told The Undefeated. “I know I have some history with this, so I’m happy the way it’s worked out.”
All 30 NBA teams will nominate a player for the award, and finalists will be selected by a seven-person committee composed of league executives, activists and former NBA players.
“I’m honored and grateful to be associated with this award that will recognize the dedicated and selfless people fighting to promote social justice for all marginalized people,” said Abdul-Jabbar in a statement. “To me, it’s another giant step in the right direction for the country and all people who value equality.”
“In addition to being one of our greatest players, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has devoted much of his life to advocating for equality and social justice,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “With this new award, we are proud to recognize and celebrate NBA players who are using their influence to make an impact on their communities and our broader society.”