The National Basketball Association features some of the world’s greatest athletes, but it’s what those players are doing off the court that’s generating widespread applause and appreciation. The NBA is in the second year of its partnership with the public service organization Lean In, whose mission is to help all women achieve their ambitions.
In year one of its partnership with Lean In, the NBA’s goal was to simply spread awareness amongst its players and fans that men benefit from leaning in to support the women in their lives, from wives to mothers to daughters to sisters. This year the league is taking a more active role and getting its players involved. Specifically, the NBA’s players are sharing personal examples of how they can be supportive of women, both at home and in the workplace.
“It was sort of, ‘Let’s roll. I have a story to tell,’” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver about the players’ reactions to getting involved in the Lean In movement. “And it has so much to do with their mothers, their sisters, their daughters. It’s because it’s so genuine. These are the stories from their lives.”
The NBA produced videos featuring Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green and his mother, Mary Babers-Green; Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh supporting his wife, Adrienne, as she opens a boutique in Miami; Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward discussing how important fatherhood is to him; and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich explaining why Becky Hammon has been successful as the league’s first woman assistant coach.
Lean In’s founder, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, reflected on the impact that influential men have had both on her career and family life — including her late husband, Dave Goldberg; her father; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg; and former treasury secretary Larry Summers — and how that relates to the NBA’s work with the organization.
“It shows me what this campaign shows,” Sandberg told espnW. “There’s no way I would be sitting here with the career and the family I have without the support of so many men.”