Donovan Mitchell is making his voice heard.
Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell is trying to use his platform as an NBA All-Star to create a better future in America.
Amid a pandemic and pleas for social justice in 2020, the NBA made a plan to hold the remainder of the regular season in a “bubble’- A high security closed off area in Orlando, Florida, where players, team staffers, and media have been staying and playing for the last two months.
Players, however, insisted that they would not return to play unless they were able to share their displeasure with the state of the country. This included NBA branding to support the Black Lives Matter movement and allowing players to wear agreed-upon messages on the back of their jerseys.
However, as time passed while players were in the bubble, many began to feel like they were not able to make the impact that they anticipated and expressed that they felt isolated and unable to help.
That’s why, following the shooting of Jacob Blake, the Milwaukee Bucks decided to protest by sitting out their game against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. The rest of the league quickly followed suit, demanding that the NBA do more to make a difference in its communities.
Saturday, the teams returned to the court, but under certain conditions. The NBA outlined the agreed-upon terms in a statement:
1. The NBA and its players have agreed to immediately establish a social justice coalition, with representatives from players, coaches and governors, that will be focused on a broad range of issues, including increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform.
2. 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. 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.
3. The league will work with the players and our network partners to create and include advertising spots in each NBA playoff game dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in national and local elections and raising awareness around voter access and opportunity.
One of the players that have stood out among the dozens of stars to speak on the topic is Utah Jazz star, Donovan Mitchell.
Mitchell, who is the leading scorer in the 2020 playoffs, is putting his money where his mouth is, using revenue generated from the sales of his D.O.N. Issue 2 shoes to help pay for the education of Jacob Blake’s family.
“Education reform is something I really believe in, and something that I believe will help be able to push our future past where we are at,” Mitchell said in a video statement. “Allowing kids (to receive education) on a level playing field is something that I believe is a key to generational success…”
Mitchell has not only become a star on the court, but he is using his voice to enact change off of it as well.
Mitchell’s shoes released on August 28th, and are still available, retailing for $100.
The Jazz and Mitchell return to play on Sunday at 8:30 PM ET on TNT.