NBA to Offer $6M in Grants to Black Youth

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has a long record of giving black youth in America a chance to better their lives while also making a lot of money. The NBA is roughly 80% black, making it far and away the biggest majority black sport in the nation. As such, the NBA has also followed racial lines in the causes it supports, such as Black Lives Matter and opposing voter ID laws. Basically, if it's good for black Americans, the NBA seems on board with it. After all, the majority of the league's audience is also black. So, it doesn't shock anyone to learn that the NBA is offering $6 million in grants to 22 different businesses in America.

These grants will total nearly $300,000 each. Though instead of going directly to individuals, they will be spread out over 22 different community and youth associations and different clubs. Some of these grants are also going to various businesses, with the goal being to increase employment opportunities for black youth in America.

The process to see which businesses and organizations would receive these grants was not an easy one. All 30 NBA teams were given their say, as the entire league worked to thin the herd of applicants to find the most deserving destinations for this money. "It's all about where a real difference can be made," a spokesman for the league claimed.

These grants aren't the first to pop up. Last year, the NBA, in the height of its support of Black Lives Matter, pledged a ten-year arrangement, over which time the league would give $300 million to different companies and organizations to improve employment opportunities for black youth across the nation. Since that time, there have been 40 grants sent out so far, including these 22, totaling over $11 million. So far, the NBA seems to be living up to their promise.

Most of the league's biggest superstars are black Americans. In fact, of the noted top 20 players in the league, only two individuals are not black and American. When these black players take the podium after games, and when they speak to reporters, most speak at length about racial injustice in America and the league's role in helping to address the concerns of social justice.

Though it's far from all rainbows and roses with the NBA's stance. The league has had a two-year span of its lowest ever ratings, since the metric started to be recorded decades ago. Many fans were upset that they just couldn't watch a basketball game without all of the politics. The common consensus among disgruntled fans was that they were fine with black players wanting to support these political causes in post-game conferences and in their free time. It was the kneeling before games and all the shows of blatant political stances on the court and in the stands that really turned so many fans off. The famous phrase "Shut up and dribble" was making its way all across America, and even the league's attendance dropped off (adjusted for COVID, of course).

The NBA remains undeterred here with the ratings dip and claims that they are more focused than every on helping black youth prosper in America, stating that it's important to the NBA to address and help close the wealth gap.

The Racial Wealth Gap

The racial wealth gap is a very polarizing topic that is not addressed accurately by either side of the aisle. The fact of the matter is that the "wealth gap" is a bit of a dishonest assessment of life in America. For instance, according to Forbes and other financial publications and institutions, African Americans are the number-one per capita spending demographic in America. "Wealth" aside, they spend more money than anyone. They spend more on food, hygiene products, and consumer items like televisions and smartphones.

Though the racial wealth gap focuses on saved money, not spent money. As some critics have pointed out, "If you saved money instead of spending it on every new electronic device, that gap would close itself instantly." Also keep in mind that the people who put out these numbers are very politically driven. They'll only list white and black people on the graphs, claiming whites have more wealth, and therefore it's racism. They leave out Asians and other immigrant groups who, per capita, have more wealth than both groups combined.

So while the NBA might be doing a good thing, the reason they're pushing for doing it is just another polarizing political topic that falls apart once the numbers are crunched.

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