Sports team owners pledge $20 million to fight systemic racism

Sports team owners pledge $20 million to fight systemic racism

Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the holding company that owns the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and NHL's New Jersey Devils, has announced a $20 million commitment in support of efforts to fight systemic racism and champion equality, including a $10 million contribution from the 76ers to the NBA's recently announced foundation to drive economic empowerment in Black communities.

Through partnerships with Black developers and local community groups, HBSE pledged at least $2.5 million to organizations and initiatives that improve quality of life and advance equitable development in Black communities, including employment programs, home-buying assistance, improvements to public spaces, and youth programming, as well as investments in real estate projects that advance community priorities in Black neighborhoods such as affordable housing, health centers, and commercial corridor improvements.

In addition, the 76ers and Devils will contribute more than $5 million in marketing assets to Black-owned businesses through HBSE's new Buy Black Partnership Program, while HBSE has committed to conducting more business with Black-owned companies through its new Diversity Procurement Program, which will include partnerships with organizations such as the African American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The remaining $2.5 million will be used to promote education, health, and employment through the Sixers Youth and Devils Care foundations and build on efforts by HBSE to promote racial equity in Newark, Camden, and Philadelphia.

"As leaders and stewards of community pillars, the eyes of the world are on us to do better, and they should be. While we will never be able to correct the past harm and injustice faced by Black Americans, it's our duty to provide resources that enable tangible action and greater opportunities for equality," said HBSE founder Josh Harris. "We are committing to a fundamental change in our business strategy by embedding our organization with Black communities and businesses through significant and sustained investment and support. We are deeply committed to fighting for a better, more inclusive future and we pledge to be leaders in doing so."

"Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment commits $20M to fight systemic racism and champion equality." Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment press release 08/17/2020.