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Chris Paul, Players Association advance conversation with NBA on social justice efforts

Top NBA executives met Tuesday with representatives from the National Basketball Players Association. According to an NBPA release, their goal was to "address the game's role in facilitating solutions to the persistent inequities plaguing the Black community." 

Players Association president and Thunder point guard Chris Paul was joined in the meeting by NBPA executive director Michele Roberts. Several players, including former OU star Trae Young, also attended. 

"The issues of systemic racism and police brutality in our country need to end," Paul said in a statement. "As a union of NBA players and as a league, it is our job to use our collective platform to both put a spotlight on those issues and work to effect change. As players, we have taken a leadership role when it comes to using our voices and implementing practical solutions, but there is much work ahead both in Orlando and long-term to continue the momentum and bring about real, long-lasting change to our society." 

The NBA season is set to resume July 30 at Disney World with 22 teams, including the Thunder. 

The group that met Tuesday agreed that the focus of the restart in Orlando will be to combat systemic racism and promote social justice. Some players, most notably Kyrie Irving of the Nets, previously expressed concern that basketball could distract from the protests that have swept the nation since George Floyd's death. 

There was discussion Tuesday to increase Black representation across the NBA, ensure greater inclusion of Black-owned and operated businesses, and talks of forming an NBA foundation to expand educational and economic development opportunities across the Black community, according to the release. 

Specific plans were not finalized, but additional details will be released later. 

"We look forward to engaging in ongoing conversations with the players and their association about our joint league-wide initiative and thank Michele, Chris and the other players for their leadership toward creating meaningful, long-term change," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. 

Related Photos
Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) reacts after a play during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020.  [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) reacts after a play during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6ccef5eca75de8d761d731b79f2d4433.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) reacts after a play during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) reacts after a play during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) reacts after a play during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure>
Joe Mussatto

Joe Mussatto joined The Oklahoman in August 2018 to cover OU football, men’s basketball and softball. He previously covered University of Kentucky football and basketball for SEC Country. Mussatto is from Oklahoma City and lives in Norman. Read more ›

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