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Robert Sarver, Suns show support for criminal justice reform in a statement

The Suns and Robert Sarver issued a press release today in support of the social justice movements.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In a year that has been wonting for specific support from people of influence outside the Black community for the Black Lives Matter movement, racial equality and even more specifically for criminal justice reform, we can be relieved that Phoenix Suns managing partner Robert Sarver distributed a very succinct and clean message today that serves as a starting point for the franchise’s continued investment in and support of change.

The specific message of criminal justice reform has been infrequent from influential non-Black supporters in the past few months, but Sarver’s statement is a step in the right direction when it comes to outlining clear ways in which he and the organization will help players’ efforts.

The NBA Board of Governors reportedly held a meeting Thursday morning on how to work with players going forward after the players’ strike on Wednesday in the Bubble.

When the protests raged over George Floyd’s murder, many people and organizations showed support for the BLM movement and social justice, but few were specific about how they would contribute to meaningful change in an area like criminal justice reform.

Only recently, after another round of uprisings in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has the conversation reached another crescendo and more meaningful action hopefully will follow.

Criminal justice reform is needed, and NBA players clearly prioritize it as part of how they want to use their platform. It remains to be seen how exactly Sarver will support those efforts going forward, but nevertheless it is a step in the right direction to see him be direct in this statement rather than using cliches and generalities.

Let’s see what happens next.