Boston Celtics Fund $25M Over 10 Years to Fight Racism

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Sep 09, 2020

On July 31, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh (D-Mass.) announced “Boston’s Movement To End Racism” initiative.

Now, the city’s beloved basketball team has followed suit with its own announcement of a $25-million fund that will go toward addressing racial injustice over the next decade, the Boston Celtics tweeted Tuesday (September 8). 


“We feel both the urgency of the moment and the weight of the centuries of injustices as we undertake this critically important work,” said Celtics managing partner and Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation chairman Steve Pagliuca in a statement. “The Boston Celtics have a proud legacy of being on the right side of racial and social justice, and we are more resolved than ever to take that commitment to another level. Our goal is to do everything we can to achieve progress on each of the targeted pillars, and we will work tirelessly to make real change.”

The Celtics organization said it plans to support citywide initiatives in six pillars or areas: equity in education; economic opportunity and empowerment; equity in health care; criminal justice and law enforcement; breaking down barriers and building bridges between communities; and voting and civic engagement.

While the National Basketball Association (NBA) team’s players and executives are down to fight social injustice, others wonder if the fans and the larger city share that willingness. NBC Sports Boston on-air co-host Michael Holley asked Is Boston a racist city?" in a June column. 

“I’ve lived in Boston for 26 years, and based on what I’ve seen, heard, and experienced in this city, there’s no debate about its tense and racialized backdrop,” Holley wrote. “It’s there in our neighborhoods, our schools, our boardrooms, our courts, our stores, our museums, our media, our police and fire departments, our politics and, yes, even our sports venues.”

The Celtics’ $25-million dollar commitment is a mere fraction of the franchise’s 2019 annual revenue, which Forbes reported was $287 million.

See the official NBA announcement here.