Tough decisions are usually made with the help of good advice.
According to a report from The Athletic, Obama spoke with James, National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul, and a small group of players to help contextualize their goals and demands for the direct action against playing games in the ongoing NBA playoffs.
Players chose to strike in response to the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday night, as many believed that the NBA’s social justice messaging was not doing enough to combat police brutality. What started off as the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision to walk out of Wednesday night’s game has turned into a strike of many teams across several leagues, including the WNBA, MLB, and MLS, refusing to play as well.
James’ conversation with Obama followed a players' meeting on Wednesday, during which Lakers and Clippers players voted to strike for the remainder of the season. In that meeting, LeBron expressed his support the Bucks’ strike, while calling on owners to take more responsibility. He also advocated for a more concrete plan of action.
During his call with the former president, the parties dicsussed the possibility of forming a player action committee that Obama would participate in. On Thursday morning, as The Athletic reports, both teams agreed to restart in the postseason if the players union and NBA "work toward increased social justice measures.”
The NBA playoffs start back up on Saturday with three games.