On Thursday, the NBA announced a new annual honor: the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award. While it’s named for the league’s all-time leading scorer, who also won six championships during his career, as the name suggests the prize actually commemorates the work of players off the court, particularly those who commit time and resources to social justice and racial equality.
Each year, all 30 teams will have the opportunity to nominate one player who best embodies that mission. Finalists will then be selected by a seven-person committee composed of league executives, activists and former NBA players. The ultimate winner will receive the distinction, along with a $100,000 donation from the NBA to be diverted to an organization of his choosing. Four other finalists will each receive $25,000 for charity as well.