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Boston Celtics launch social justice plan to help combat systemic racism

The Boston Celtics introduced the $25 million anti-racism initiative yesterday (Sept. 8).

Boston Celtics Kim Klement / Getty Images

Amid the ongoing fight to advance racial justice and equality, sports teams are continuing to roll out the social justice initiatives they plan to put in effect.

The NFL’s Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens shared their social justice plans. In the NBA, the Philadelphia 76ers donated $20 million to the promotion of racial equity, and the Miami Heat organization announced they will pay for bias training for local police. Now, the Boston Celtics and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation have revealed their action plan.

On Tuesday (Sept. 8), the Boston based team and their investor group launched the Boston Celtics United for Social Justice, an anti-racism initiative that will commit $25 million over the next decade to help combat “issues that have impacted the Black community as a result of the nation’s long-term history of systemic racism.”

According to the NBA website, the social justice plan is founded on six pillars: equity in education, economic opportunity/empowerment, equity in healthcare, criminal justice/law enforcement, breaking down barriers/building bridges between communities and voting and civic engagement.

“We feel both the urgency of the moment and the weight of the centuries of injustices as we undertake this critically important work,” said Steve Pagliuca, Chairman of the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation. “The Boston Celtics have a proud legacy of being on the right side of racial and social justice, and we are more resolved than ever to take that commitment to another level. Our goal is to do everything we can to achieve progress on each of the targeted pillars, and we will work tirelessly to make real change.”

“Our goal is to have a direct impact now,” Celtics player Jaylen Brown added in the statement. “We don’t need to pacify the situation with empty gestures. We need to hold ourselves, the Celtics organization, and the city of Boston accountable. Monetary commitment is a great first step, but we need to commit to this process by creating a balance of short and long-term change. The time is now.”

The Boston Celtics was one of the many NBA teams that chose to boycott their playoff games in the wake of Jacob Blake’s horrific shooting.

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