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The National Basketball Association has announced that it will not hold games on November 8 to encourage fans to vote on Election Day.
The news regarding the plan to support midterm voting was shared Tuesday on Twitter by NBA Communications.
“The NBA today announced that no games will be played on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022,” the tweet read. “The scheduling decision came out of the NBA family’s focus on promoting nonpartisan civic engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan to vote during midterm elections.”
The NBA today announced that no games will be played on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.
The scheduling decision came out of the NBA family’s focus on promoting nonpartisan civic engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan to vote during midterm elections. https://t.co/nFiEHlws0Q
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) August 16, 2022
The news was also reported on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in a video included in the Twitter post.
“It’s unusual. We don’t usually change the schedule for an external event,” Executive Director of the NBA’s Social Justice Coalition James Cadogan told the outlet. “Voting and Election Day are obviously unique and very important to our democracy.”
The change will be a departure from previous seasons on Election Day. While the season was delayed due to COVID-19 in 2020, eight teams played on Election Day during the 2018 midterm election. On the night of the 2016 presidential election, 12 teams played, according to NBC News correspondent Shaq Brewster.
In addition to the observance of no games on Election Day, all 30 NBA teams will play in games on the day before the election. The games will include a focus on an election-themed night, according to the MSNBC News report.
The decision also marks the importance of the 2022 midterms. All 435 House seats and more than 30 Senate seats are up for grabs, along with numerous important campaigns for governors and other state elections.
The move isn’t the first time the league has made plans to increase voter turnout. In 2020, the NBA decided to use several team stadiums as polling locations for the 2020 election.
The 2020 decision was made after three NBA games were postponed following the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The NBA also launched the league’s social justice coalition in November 2020. The group, consisting of current players, coaches, and team staff members and executives, has previously focused on the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Daily Wire previously reported that the coalition released a statement in May 2021 to mark one year since the death of George Floyd, backing the police reform bill that passed the House in March of last year. Two Democrats, Reps. Jared Golden of Maine and Ron Kind of Wisconsin, joined Republicans in voting against the legislation.
The Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) also joined in support of the effort, saying that it remains “hopeful that the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is the important first step for comprehensive policing reform at the federal level.”
“America has a serious problem when it comes to discriminatory policing,” the WNBPA said. “It is a deadly problem for Black and brown people. Excessive force used against communities of color is past crisis-level. Excessive force used against communities of color demands action by Congress.”