The NBA as a whole has stepped up in recent weeks to meet the moment amid a nationwide push for social justice reform with league-wide initiatives and rule changes to help players get their messages out. Some teams have taken those efforts further, including the Washington Wizards who have a detailed program to help their fans vote.
The Wizards released a long list of steps they plan to take last week. They included an online voter registration drive, a marketing push and the potential for Capital One Arena to serve as a polling place.
The organization’s approach to go beyond the NBA’s league-wide measures has impressed members of the team.
“I’m telling you, this has been the best organization. I could not be at a better place at a better time,” Ish Smith said. “I know it’s crazy times with what is going on, but it’s been smooth how this whole process has been going. They listened to us and we listened to them.”
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Head coach Scott Brooks has had many conversations with his players recently about current events. He also participated in the team’s march to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on June 19.
He thinks the organization has picked the right cause in focusing on voting.
“It’s one of the things our players want to get behind. It’s so important that everybody has that right. It’s a fundamental right and we have to take advantage of it,” Brooks said.
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“We just want to get it out there. Everybody has a vote and our players are really excited about what we’re doing. We want to continue to bring awareness and give everybody the chance to vote.”
Smith indicated the Wizards have more to come in the future when it comes to raising social justice awareness.
“Now it’s time to put it in action,” Smith said. “We’ve gotta keep going. This is one piece and one part. But I’m truly, truly thankful to be a part of this organization and what we’re doing.”
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Ish Smith proud of Wizards’ efforts in voting and social justice originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington