Carmelo Anthony Among Finalists for Abdul-Jabbar Award

Carmelo Anthony has been unabashedly vocal on how systemic oppression, racism and police brutality not only dehumanizes Black pe
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NEW YORK, June 11, 2021 – The NBA today announced that Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony, Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes, Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris, Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday and Golden State Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson have been selected as the five finalists for the inaugural Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award.

The new annual award, named after six-time NBA champion and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, recognizes a current NBA player for pursuing social justice and advancing Abdul-Jabbar’s life mission to engage, empower and drive equality for individuals and groups who have been historically marginalized or systemically disadvantaged.

The finalists for the award were selected from an impressive pool of NBA team nominees who have upheld the league’s decades-long values of equality, respect and inclusion. The finalists were determined by a selection committee composed of Abdul-Jabbar, notable social justice leaders, including Director of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport Dr. Richard Lapchick, student activist Teyonna Lofton, National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial, UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía, Rise Founder and CEO Amanda Nguyen, and NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum.

As previously announced, each finalist has selected an organization focused on advancing social justice that will receive a contribution on his behalf. The winner’s selection will receive a $100,000 donation and the other four finalists will each receive a $25,000 contribution for a social justice organization of their choosing.

The winner will be announced prior to Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on TNT. Below is more information about the finalists, including their respective efforts and selected beneficiaries, and additional details regarding the selection committee.

Carmelo Anthony, Portland Trail Blazers

A prolific champion in the social impact space, ten-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony has been unabashedly vocal on how systemic oppression, racism and police brutality not only dehumanizes Black people, but prohibits the progress needed for generations of Black people to thrive and progress as a community. He founded the Carmelo Anthony Foundation over 15 years ago as a vehicle for actionable change and social reform through a variety of outreach programs and disaster relief initiatives.

In 2020, he served as guest Editor-in-Chief for Slam Magazine’s Special Social Justice Issue and established the Social Change Fund alongside fellow NBA greats to focus on investing in organizations addressing critical and timely issues impacting the Black community including expanding access to voting and civic engagement, education, employment, housing, economic equity, and representation in leadership. Anthony currently serves as a board member of the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition.

His work isn’t just limited to reform in criminal justice, voting or race spaces, but he also developed an incubator program focused on creativity and the arts. Through his STAYME7O banner, Anthony established the STAYME7O Propel Program in 2020 as a way to tap into the creativity of Black culture through fashion, art and design to develop intricate pieces that honor a vision of Black excellence and inspire a culture to create and move further, together.

This spring, Anthony also announced Creative 7, his global, multi-platform content company through which he has been developing a robust slate of projects that speak to the evolution of the human spirit through adversity, social activism and compelling, entertainment-forward storytelling. Anthony has selected the Portland Art Museum’s Black Arts and Experiences Initiative as the recipient of his donation.

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