FIBA condemns racism: Basketball is a ‘source of equality’
MANILA, Philippines — FIBA, through an open letter by its president Hamane Niang, is one in denouncing racism and social injustice in the wake of protests over the death of George Floyd in the United States.
Niang, in a letter posted on the FIBA website, said the international basketball governing body is not taking the social issue of racism sitting down.
“FIBA is a politically neutral organization, as we want basketball to build a more cohesive future, not contribute to, or even further, political divisions. However, this does not mean staying silent on the issue of racism,” he wrote. “FIBA unequivocally condemns all forms of discrimination as an attack on an individual’s basic human rights. There is no place for this in basketball, in sport, or in any aspect of society.”
“Recent events are a strong reminder that society, including sport, can always do more to build a stronger and more unified community. Our statutes are clear in expressing zero tolerance towards racism and FIBA will always fight discrimination of any kind,” he added.
Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, died last month after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while he was handcuffed and lying face down on the ground.
The incident caused outrage and protests all over the US with athletes and personalities joining Black Live Matters movements throughout the country.
“The protests have encouraged us to be introspective and ask ourselves the question, ‘Is FIBA doing enough to combat racism?’ The FIBA Executive Committee met today and reflected on our existing initiatives that target inclusivity, equal opportunity and greater representation, before identifying where the organization can do more for the basketball community. We are a global organization and so we must reflect and celebrate the world’s rich diversity,” Niang said.
“As a proud African serving as President of FIBA, I know how important it is that we provide people of all ethnicities and backgrounds with equal opportunities so that all voices and communities are represented.”
Niang also stressed the significance of the game of basketball as a “source of hope, a source of friendship and most importantly a source of equality.”