The NBA on Tuesday announced Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony as the inaugural winner of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award.
The 10-time NBA All-Star was selected from a group of five finalists due to “his dedication over the past year to pursuing social justice and advancing Abdul-Jabbar’s life mission to engage, empower and drive equality” for people who have been traditionally marginalized.
In July 2020, Anthony joined fellow NBA stars Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade to establish the Social Change Fund, which is aimed at addressing social and economic justice challenges facing Black communities. Some of its focuses include criminal justice reform, expanding voter access, representation in government and community investment.
Among his other achievements, Anthony helped advocate for making Juneteenth a national holiday, which was ultimately signed into law this year. He lent his celebrity and voice to the Vera Institute of Justice to promote criminal justice reform. And he founded the content creative company Creative 7 Productions, which aims to be inclusive and elevate diverse voices.
The Portland Art Museum’s Black Arts and Experiences Initiative will receive a $100,000 contribution on his behalf.
The other finalists were Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes, Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris, Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday and Golden State Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson.
–Field Level Media