Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet has been named one of five finalists for the 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award, which "represent the year’s most impactful social justice advocates who are continuing NBA players’ decades-long tradition of activism".
The award was created to honour and continue the former Los Angeles Laker's life mission to engage with individuals and groups who have been historically marginalized or systemically disadvantaged to uplift and empower them towards equality.
This years finalists are VanVleet, Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Reggie Bullock, Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr., and Minnesota Timberwolves centre Karl-Anthony Towns.
The winner, chosen by the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion selection committee comprised of social justice leaders and members of the NBA family, will be announced during the Western Conference Finals and will receive a $100,000 donation from the NBA for a social justice organization of their choice.
Each finalist who does not win will still receive $25,000 for the social justice organization of their choice on their behalf. Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony was named the first-ever Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion at the end of the 2020-21 season.