• Two NBA teams to participate in basketball games inside prison
  • Campaign is to end stigma regarding incarcerated individuals
  • More NBA teams to join the campaign next year

Two NBA teams are cast to participate in a historic event organized by the Represent Justice Campaign wherein basketball games are to be played at prisons. The Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks are tapped to host separate events in what the organizers call as a campaign “to break down stigmas of individuals impacted by the criminal justice system.”

“We’re proud to be the first participant in the Play for Justice initiative, which is shining a bright light on the unique issues facing incarcerated people in communities around the country,” said Kings chairman and CEO Vivek Ranadivé. “Sports franchises have a unique opportunity to bring about positive change, which is why in the past year, the Kings and the Bucks brought together leaders from across two cities to share best practices and find new solutions to social injustices. This collaboration with Represent Justice is another example of how we can use our platforms for good.”

According to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, NBA players and coaches will play the honorary coaches role in the said Play for Justice Initiative campaign. The event will likewise conduct facilitated conversations with some of the detainees.

The campaign will commence on Thursday evening with the Kings hosting the event at an undisclosed prison in Northern California. The Bucks will then take over later this month before both teams gang up to organize a larger event scheduled for February next year. It is also reported that other NBA teams are expected to participate in the said endeavor which may be announced in 2020 as well. “The campaign’s goal is to highlight stories of hope and redemption, as well as break down stigmas associated with individuals — primarily people of color and the poor — impacted by the criminal justice system,” Spears wrote.

Nike also committed to contributing to the cause of the campaign as the giant sports apparel brand is expected to donate sneakers to the participants of the basketball game hosted by the Bucks in Wisconsin. The inmates’ families will receive the donations as they are given the privilege to attend the event.

“The sneakers and clothing will be mailed to the incarcerated players’ families, who will be able to attend the event since the residents cannot keep the articles while imprisoned.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks handles the ball while being guarded by Semi Ojeleye #37 of the Boston Celtics in the fourth quarter during Game 6 of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at the Bradley Center on April 26, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dylan Buell/Getty Images