NBA, union urge players to pursue social consciousness

NBA commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts co-signed a preseason letter to the league's players encouraging them in the pursuit of social consciousness.

In the letter, obtained by ESPN, Silver and Roberts told the players, "None of us operates in a vacuum. Critical issues that affect our society also impact you directly. Fortunately, you are not only the world's greatest basketball players -- you have real power to make a difference in the world, and we want you know that the Players Association and the League are always available to help you figure out the most meaningful way to make that difference."

The NBA's letter comes as the NFL grapples with its players' social expressions, including players kneeling during the national anthem.

Roberts and Silvers' letter also commended players on work in NBA communities, Basketball Without Borders events and Hurricane Harvey fundraising.