Press Releases

Rev. Sharpton calls for a meeting with NBA executives & players

Jan 07, 2010

Rev Al Sharpton calls for a meeting with NBA executives, players and members of the community to deal with the image and culture of violence being perpetuated in professional sports; Rev. Sharpton talks to commissioner David Stern who has agreed to meet.

Rev. Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network, and one of the country’s leading civil rights advocates, has called for a meeting with community leaders, NBA executives, and NBA players to deal with the violent imagery being perpetuated by players in light of allegations that recently two players from the Washington Wizards allegedly pulled guns on each other over a gambling bet. Rev. Sharpton spoke this morning for 12-minutes to NBA Commissioner David Stern and he has agreed to a meeting.

Rev. Sharpton is deeply concerned that in the last several months the country has seen the headlines of Cleveland Cavalier Delonte West brandishing a weapon while riding on his motorcycle, former NBA player Antoine Walker had at least two incidents of being held at gunpoint around an alleged gambling incident, and even the NFL’s Washington Redskin’s own Sean Taylor was killed by gun violence. New York Giant Plaxico Burress is currently in jail for the infamous case where he was both the victimizer and the victim of gun play. Now as the country wrestles with an explosion of gang and youth violence, Rev. Sharpton and community members are concerned that there has been almost a deafening silence by Black leadership and an absence of enforced policy by those associations that regulate and make profit from sports and entertainment. He is seeking to mobilize a level of partnerships with record companies and sports associations, advertisers and sponsors, and those community groups that work day in and day out to create an atmosphere of civility in what has become modern war zones. In the last several months Rev. Sharpton has led vigils and rallies in almost 30-cities telling young people to refrain from gang and youth violence, and even had rapper T.I. who has done time in jail for weapon possession come to his headquarters of National Action Network and denounce his former behavior and call upon young people to refrain from this behavior. Details for the meeting are being organized and Rev. Sharpton will be releasing specifics in the near future.