On Monday, May 24, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) social justice coalition called on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (JPA) and end qualified immunity (QI). As The Hill notes, this announcement came a day ahead of the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder.
“Today, as this painful anniversary approaches, we have an opportunity to honor the memory of Mr. Floyd and others who have been victims of police brutality in this country by passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act,” the statement said.
15 NBA members signed the statement. These include NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, Sterling Brown of the Houston Rockets, and Coach Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers.
“Systemic problems demand systemic solutions,” the statement continues. As the NBA’s social justice coalition says, the JPA takes “unprecedented strides” to address the issue of police brutality in American law enforcement. It includes provisions to prohibit racial profiling, ban chokeholds, and end qualified immunity.
On March 3,the JPA passed the House of Representatives, 220-212. However, the bill still awaits a vote in the Senate. The biggest roadblock to passage is qualified immunity. Debate over the measure to repeal the doctrine keeps the JPA from moving forward. Progressives like Congresswoman Karen Bass know ending QI is critical. Conservatives believe otherwise. Some Republicans, such as Senator Tim Scott, seek alternatives to individual accountability.
With their statement, the NBA’s social justice coalition makes their stance on the matter clear. They support the JPA as written. They want to keep the bill—and its provision to end QI—intact.
“As members of the NBA family, we will continue to use our influence to support common-sense policy reform in our communities across the nation so that equal justice is afforded to all,” the statement says. Thus, passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and ending qualified immunity for bad cops makes absolute sense.
Read the entire article on the NBA’s social justice coalition’s support for the JPA here.
Read the NBA’s social justice coalition’s JPA statement here.