Barack Obama 'helped convince LeBron James to resume NBA playoffs and advised players to use the games to advocate for changes they want'

Former President Barack Obama has reportedly played a role in convincing LeBron James and other NBA players to resume the postseason after they boycotted it in protest of racial injustice.
Obama spoke with James, National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul, and other players in a conference call late on Wednesday night, after all NBA games were cancelled due to the boycott, the Athletic reported, citing sources. 
James had advocated for ending the NBA season entirely, and Obama reportedly told him and the other players that they could use the remaining games to advocate for the changes they want to see if they resumed playing.
In public remarks, Obama praised the Milwaukee Bucks for leading the boycott by walking off the court on Wednesday, saying in a tweet: 'It’s going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values.' 
Obama and LeBron James are seen together in 2013. The former president reportedly urged NBA players to resume the postseason following a boycott to protest racial injustice
Obama and LeBron James are seen together in 2013. The former president reportedly urged NBA players to resume the postseason following a boycott to protest racial injustice 

The players agreed to resume the playoffs on Saturday in a deal that includes increased access to voting in the U.S. presidential election, the league and players association said on Friday. 
The decision ends a three-day halt to the action as part of a player-led protest that was sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and led to game cancellations in other sports as well.
As part of the agreement, the NBA and its players will establish a coalition that will focus on access to voting for the November 3 general election, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform.
'These commitments follow months of close collaboration around designing a safe and healthy environment to restart the NBA season, providing a platform to promote social justice, as well as creating an NBA Foundation focused on economic empowerment in the Black community,' NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts said in a joint statement.
'We look forward to the resumption of the playoffs and continuing to work together - in Orlando and in all NBA team markets - to push for meaningful and sustainable change.'
National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul was also reportedly on the Wednesday conference call with Obama. They are seen together in 2014 above
National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul was also reportedly on the Wednesday conference call with Obama. They are seen together in 2014 above
The players' protest began when the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court for Game Five of their first-round playoff series against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.
Bucks players said they were unable to focus on basketball due to demonstrations and violence in Kenosha, which is about 40 miles (60 km) south of Milwaukee.
After the Bucks' boycott, the NBA postponed all three games on that day's schedule as well as three on Thursday.
All 13 teams still on the NBA campus at Disney World in Orlando, a group that includes the defending champion Toronto Raptors and LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers, are practicing on Friday.
The return-to-play agreement was announced a day after players, coaches and team governors had a candid discussion regarding the next steps to further collective efforts and actions in support of social justice and racial equality.
Sterling Brown and George Hill of the Milwaukee Bucks reads a statement to the media on Wednesday as they boycott a game at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida
Sterling Brown and George Hill of the Milwaukee Bucks reads a statement to the media on Wednesday as they boycott a game at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida
The court and benches are empty of players and coaches at the scheduled start of an NBA basketball first round playoff game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic
The court and benches are empty of players and coaches at the scheduled start of an NBA basketball first round playoff game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic
As part of the agreement, teams who own and control their stadiums will work with local elections officials to convert their facilities into a voting location to allow for a safe in-person voting option for areas vulnerable to COVID-19.
The novel coronavirus outbreak has pushed a number states to expand mail-in voting.
U.S. President Donald Trump has been railing against mail-in ballots for months as a possible source of fraud, although millions of Americans - including much of the military - have cast absentee ballots by mail for years without such problems.
The NBA also said it will work to include advertising spots in each playoff game dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in national and local elections and raising awareness around voter access and opportunity.

Barack Obama 'helped convince LeBron James to resume NBA playoffs and advised players to use the games to advocate for changes they want' Barack Obama 'helped convince LeBron James to resume NBA playoffs and advised players to use the games to advocate for changes they want' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 08:51 Rating: 5

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