Sports Basement’s Anti-Racism Action Plan
Honoring George Floyd and countless other victims of racism
Sports Basement employs over 1,000 people who live in the Bay Area. Every one of our staffers is feeling the impact of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many more, as well as the suffocating weight of centuries of racism that caused them. Our Black coworkers and the entire Black community feel that weight and more every day of their lives, and we support them and stand with them.
We unequivocally condemn racism. We unquestionably stand with protesters all over the Bay Area and the world who seek an end to racism in all its manifestations.
We also know that many businesses, including Sports Basement, have a lot of work to do. We apologize sincerely for our delayed condemnation. We've spent the weeks following George Floyd's murder turning inwards and working out how we can dismantle insidious racism within the primarily white outdoor industry and within our own walls.
We have supported front line organizations like Boys and Girls Clubs, the YMCA, Aim High, Girls on the Run and many others since our founding. These organizations work to raise up underprivileged Black youth here in the Bay Area. For over two decades, we've given thousands of hours of volunteer and board leadership, and over $4 million in financial support. This has been part of our DNA since our founding as your local, community sporting goods store.
But we can and will do better. We affirm that racism and discrimination inside and outside of our company will not be tolerated to any degree or at any level. We will always protect our staff against racism and discrimination. In addition, we aim to make an immediate impact with the following initiatives, starting today:
• A broad expansion of outdoor activity offerings for Black youth, including fully-funded camping and cycling trips.
• An initiative to seek out Bay Area nonprofits that lift up Black youth and support Black communities, and support them through our Basementeer program and our digital marketing platforms.
• An anti-racist, anti-discrimination program for all staff, including and especially our company leaders.
• An initiative to consciously diversify our media across all digital and in-store marketing, so that our Black community members can see themselves in our messaging.
• An overhaul of our theft deterrent program and training with a focus on anti-discrimination protocols and training to root out bias.
• An initiative to actively reach out to, hire and support employees from Black communities for positions across our organization.
We know that our work doesn't end here, and we invite our community members to reach out to us to help us identify more ways we can improve ourselves, our industry and our community. We also encourage all our staff and community members to actively listen to the experiences of our Black coworkers, family, friends and neighbors, either face-to-face or through books, podcasts and movies. Now is the time to create change, and it starts within ourselves.
President & CEO
Joan Morgan says...
Dear Mr. Prosnitz and Employees of Sports Basement:On June 29, 2020
There is no reason to feel guilty because most of your customers happen to be Caucasian. Have you ever refused to serve someone because of his/her skin color? I don’t think so. Don’t fall for the tactics of these political organizations who are trying to create chaos in our country under the guise of trying to help black people. If these organizations really cared about black people they would be giving millions to the black business owners whose businesses were destroyed during the recent riots. Or, they could acknowledge the black police man who died trying to save a friend’s business from looters during the riots. These organizations like Google, Amazon, Netflix and Facebook could give millions to the families of those aforementioned people and the families of the other innocent people who were hurt or killed during the recent riots. But, that is not important to these companies or these political organizations who claim to want social justice – it is all about power. Don’t cave to their tactics. You have been running a good business for many years and are obviously good people. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for being successful. Hiring people based on merit and character (and not skin color) is the way to do business. I am sure you have been doing that and you shouldn’t feel guilty because your customers and employees happen to be predominantly of a certain skin color. Does the basketball industry feel badly because its participants and customers happen to be mostly of a certain skin color? The whole thing is ridiculous and is a tactic to cause division in our country. Don’t fall for it.