CLEVELAND (WJW)– The NBA unveiled the inaugural Social Justice Champion Award on Sunday in Los Angeles.
The award is dedicated to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s commitment to creating an equal and just society, leveling the playing field and ensuring that every child is free to dream as inspiration.
The award was given to Lakers’ Carmelo Anthony prior to his game against the Denver Nuggets for his work in the community on social justice and activism.
“We came up with this thought that it gives the idea for people to dream about being whatever they want to be when you’re not faced with biased, when you’re not faced with injustice, when you’re not faced with racism, you really can have the dream be whatever or whoever you desire to be,” Cocreative Cleveland owner Jason Garrett said. “We tried to create a trophy that replicated the work a social justice champion does.”
The trophy was designed by Vijay Singh and fellow Clevelanders, Garrett, James Adams Jr. and Lacy Talley. All four designers are alumni from the Marcus Graham Project, an organization focused on developing the next generation of advertising, media and marketing leaders.
It took the design team more than a year to come up with a final rendering. The artists had the opportunity to work with Abdul-Jabbar and Anthony to incorporate their vision for the trophy’s design to truly embody the essence of the honor.
“We were pitching to Carmelo and Kareem’s team a month from actually getting debriefed,” Garrett added. “It was an amazing experiencing collaborating with them. You can really feel a spirit within the trophy.”