The NBA, hoping to boost voter turnout for the midterm elections, will not schedule games on Election Day, Nov. 8, NBC News has reported.
On the day before, all 30 teams will be scheduled to play. In addition, each home team will host an election-based themed fan night.
"We don't usually change the schedule for an external event," James Cadogan, executive director of the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition, told NBC News. The coalition was formed after the murder of George Floyd and police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, according to network news.
"But voting and Election Day are obviously unique and incredibly important to our democracy," Cadogan said.
The NBA's change is a major departure from previous schedules. As a result of the pandemic, the NBA schedule in 2020 was pushed back past Election Day. But eight teams played on Election Day 2018, 12 teams competed in 2016, and 16 teams played in 2014.
The league said it is working with cites to repurpose facilities for election-related activities.
According to Forbes, the NBA said in a statement: "Over the next few months, teams will distribute information on their state's voting process and voter registration deadlines and are encouraging everyone to communicate this information with families and friends to ensure they all have a plan."
Cadogan added: "If we do something that some might call a symbol, I would say that's a good symbol. If we were talking about getting out, registering, voting, making your voice heard in whatever way you think is most important, those are symbols that I think most people can and would support."
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