Adam Silver warned by civil rights group against Raptors’ Kansas City relocation, Mayor responds
Kansas City has been tagged as a possible temporary home of the Toronto Raptors in the 2020-21 season amid the ongoing restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a civil rights group has issued a warning to Adam Silver and the NBA to not push through with their plans.
The Urban League of Greater Kansas City, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City and the Kansas City, Missouri chapter of the NAACP wrote a letter to Silver and the league detailing their concerns.
Per KMBC via Yahoo:
“While having the NBA choose Kansas City as a home for the Toronto Raptors would be a huge honor, and excite NBA fans in Kansas City, as you understand, there are some issues which supersede fun and economic interests,” they wrote, in part. “The protection of Black lives remains our most pressing concern … Although Kansas City is a great sports city, it is also a city where law enforcement has demonstrated extreme hostility and excessive force towards Black people.”
While the civil rights group is wary of the league’s potential move, both the Kansas City police department and Mayor Quinton Lucas expressed their support, noting that they are devoted to serving both residents and visitors of the Kansas City area.
“I commend our civil rights organizations for reminding our city and those beyond that preservation of Black lives should be a most pressing concern for our community and our partners,” Lucas said in a statement. “Unfortunately, like Toronto, Chicago, Philadelphia and most NBA cities, we have much work to do in ensuring all our Black neighbors feel safe in all interactions with law enforcement. Regardless of our future with the NBA, we remain committed to that essential work.”
Kansas City mayor Quinton Lucas, U.S. senators Roy Blunt, Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, and U.S. representative Emanuel Cleaver, II wrote to NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Toronto Raptors ownership Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment about KC hosting the Raptors this season: pic.twitter.com/I146OWIggI
— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) October 27, 2020
Reports reveal that Adam Silver and Co. are eyeing Louisville and the KFC Yum! Center as the possible home of the Raptors. In Kansas City, the T-Mobile Center in the Power & Light District is also NBA-ready.