The NBA schedule will have no Election Day games this year

The NBA will be on vacation on Election Day.

The league schedule for the upcoming season will see all 30 teams play on November 7, the day before the midterm elections. The NBA hopes teams will use the night as an opportunity to encourage fans to come out and vote, in addition to amplifying the need for civic engagement.

But on November 8, which is election day, no NBA team has scheduled games. Teams are encouraged to share election information — such as registration deadlines — with their fans in the weeks leading up to Nov. 8.

“The programming decision arose out of the NBA family’s focus on fostering nonpartisan civic engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan to vote in the midterm elections,” said the league on Tuesday.

All 435 U.S. House seats will be up for grabs on Nov. 8, along with more than 30 U.S. Senate seats and gubernatorial races.

“It’s unusual. We don’t usually change the schedule for an external event,” James Cadogan, executive director of the NBA’s Social Justice Coalition, told NBC, which first reported on the Election Day schedule plan from the league. “But voting and election day is obviously unique and incredibly important to our democracy.”

The move is a rarity for the league, which typically plays no games on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve and tries to avoid scheduling games on NCAA men’s basketball championship game day — often. the first Monday in April. He also has a few days off built around the All-Star Game, which takes place in February.

The NBA and its players have been openly involved in several election-related surges in 2020, largely as part of the response after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor reignited the quest to eliminate racial inequality and police brutality. .

Many players, including LeBron James, have been involved in voter registration drives and other ballot initiatives. Some teams have turned their arenas into registration or voting centers.

The full NBA schedule for the season will be released on Wednesday.

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