Atlanta Hawks: Leaders in off-court moves this offseason

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks have certainly done a lot to improve their roster this offseason but their off of the court moves may be even more impressive.

The NBA was put in the national spotlight this summer amidst all of the social justice inspired events that seemingly reached a media peak during the “bubble” months. Players felt compelled more than ever before to make their voices heard and to use their platforms to push the messages that really mattered to them. Since then, the Atlanta Hawks have gone above and beyond in making sure that their organization is on the right side of history.

As teams prepare for the 2020-2021 season, let’s take a look at some of the off-court moves the Atlanta Hawks have made and how they’ve positioned themselves as one of the more forward-thinking teams in the NBA.

Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks have made State Farm Arena an official polling location in Georgia

During one of the most intense election campaigns in recent history, the Atlanta Hawks chose to make their home gym, State Farm Arena, an official polling location in the state of Georgia.

This was extremely timely and necessary given the history of voter suppression in what would become one of the election’s most important battleground states. Per the Hawks’ website, the move made State Farm Arena Georgia’s largest-ever voting precinct and allowed tens of thousands of voters to safely and efficiently cast their ballots in minutes, a process that was key in a COVID-19 heavy state.

After the initiative was announced, Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce said he feels like now is the time to take action. “I think this is the time where we self-reflect and we focus on the problem and addressing the problem. You know it’s hard to have a conversation about racism at work,” said Pierce in an interview with Boardroom, “but we need to.” You can check out the full interview below.

The State Farm Arena initiative was the first of many moves by the Atlanta Hawks to show their city that they’re committed to bettering their community.

The Atlanta Hawks announced a historic agreement with Black-owned banks

One of the things that’s for sure when it comes to making a change in the community is that dollars help to do it quicker. The Atlanta Hawks obviously know this to be true with some of the recent moves they’ve made, including refinancing their construction loan for the Emory Sports Medicine Complex with a syndicate of Black-owned banks.

According to the Atlanta Hawks, the $35 million loan officially made it the first time that a professional sports organization had a significant loan underwritten exclusively by Black-owned banks. The 90,000-square-foot facility is the official training and practice facility of the Hawks and was completed in the Fall of 2017.

Not only are the Atlanta Hawks making statements with their facilities, but they’re also making them with their uniforms as well.

The Atlanta Hawks announced their 2020-2021 City Edition uniforms

Earlier this year, the Atlanta Hawks officially announced their 2020-2021 City Edition uniforms and a court which both include an ode to the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Atlanta legend and civil rights movement pioneer.

During the rollout of the uniforms, the Hawks also announced that proceeds from the sale of the jerseys will go to support economic empowerment programs for Atlanta’s communities of color.

Next. Atlanta Hawks: Are the playoffs a must?. dark

As the Atlanta Hawks look to compete for a playoff spot for the first time in several years, the rest of the NBA should be looking to Atlanta for leadership on how to be better both on and off of the court.