Ahead of Wednesday afternoon’s release of the 2022-23 NBA season schedule, the league announced on Tuesday that no games will be played on Election Day in the United States this fall, which is Nov. 8.
“The scheduling decision came out of the NBA family’s focus on promoting nonpartisan civic engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan to vote during midterm elections,” the league said.
The NBA today announced that no games will be played on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) August 16, 2022
The scheduling decision came out of the NBA family’s focus on promoting nonpartisan civic engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan to vote during midterm elections. https://t.co/nFiEHlws0Q
In a segment on MSNBC Tuesday, Shaquille Brewster reported that the decision was made “to try to build on 2020,” when the league and many of its players were heavily involved in political activism ahead of the presidential election, and many NBA arenas were turned into voting locations.
Brewster also reported that all 30 of the league’s teams will play on Nov. 7 and use the night as a platform to encourage “civic engagement.”
The segment then displayed a graphic which showed how many games the league has played on the days of each of the past four elections. It has generally been a smaller number than a typical night, with eight being the highest in 2014, a midterm election.
There was then a snippet of an interview with James Cadogan, director of the NBA’s Social Justice Coalition (which was created in 2020 and Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell was named a leader of it).
“It’s unusual,” Cadogan said. “We don’t usually change the schedule for an external event, but voting and Election Day are obviously unique and incredibly important to our democracy, and that’s part of the value proposition, that we want to make sure people understand that voting is unlike anything else.”
Asked by Brewster what he would say to people who might say the move is merely a “symbolic gesture,” Cadogan said, “I would say to them that symbols really matter, so if we do something that some might call a symbol, I would say that’s a good symbol.
“If we are talking about getting out, registering, voting, making your voice heard in whatever way you think is most important, those are symbols that I think most people can and would support.”