Basketball England has been in a period of listening and consultation about the Black Lives Matter movement and racism following the protests and widespread debate around the issue this summer.
Further developments are being planned to bring about action.
The horrific murder of George Floyd in the USA in May has prompted intense discussion about the issue of racism and equality within the diverse community of British Basketball.
Basketball England acknowledged in June that more needs to be done by the organisation to fight racism and to reflect and serve the game which features so many contributors and participants from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicity (BAME) communities.
BE CEO Stewart Kellett issued a statement outlining the organisation’s position and he, along with others within the NGB, have undertaken numerous conversations and discussions with individuals and organisations within the game on how best to move forward.
A collaboration with Footfire and uNDERRATED aims to amplify online discussion further and provide an opportunity for individuals to share their experiences and ideas.
Online conversations such as the Below the Rim podcast featuring players Rheanne Bailey, Ishmael Fontaine, Will Reid, coach Greg Mpofu and BE Board director Benny Bonsu, and, a BE podcast with Fontaine, have informed and enlightened discussions at Board level.
Basketball England has taken some initial actions alongside ongoing conversations, while preparing some wider next steps. The organisation is also seeking further feedback from the basketball community.
Initial discussions have identified three key areas for actions and methods to bring about improvement within Basketball England.
“I want to reassure the membership, and all engaged in basketball, that the national governing body is listening and is active in taking this matter extremely seriously. Basketball in England has a strong and natural appeal to the most diverse community in sport. We should be proud that the game we love achieves this and together we can achieve greater levels of equality and fairness for everyone. Collectively we should be a role model for other sports. However, there is more to do to make our own sport more accessible at every level in the playing, coaching, officiating, volunteering and administrative dimensions - voluntary and paid.
“There is an urgency to take action, so we have listened and responded with a number of immediate steps in the short-term. We also want to understand what the lasting solutions are so all future approaches are inclusive and work for the basketball community. These are highlighted in brief with our statement today and we would like everyone to feedback in support of the things that will make a difference and share any other thoughts important to you and the game.
“Many of the actions we are proposing are about the governing body doing things differently, other actions are about encouraging reflection, greater awareness and education across the whole game. We also believe that basketball stakeholders who have roles in funding, broadcasting, supplying services, and the elite part of the game have really influential roles to play, and we will be engaging these as part of a drive for equality.”