Pacers' Malcolm Brogdon launches foundation for social justice reform from Orlando bubble: 'I've decided to do both'

Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon, who recently recovered from the coronavirus, sees more value in participating in the NBA's restart than sitting out.

That's why the 2017 NBA Rookie of Year decided not only to join the Pacers in Orlando, Florida, but also launched the Brogdon Family Foundation on Tuesday.

He wants to create a more equitable world by empowering children, families and communities to reach their potential and thrive through this initiative.

"There was a call that Kyrie Irving led, Chris Paul led a lot of calls ... the NBPA, the NBA. A lot of negotiations had to take place," Brogdon said Tuesday on a Zoom call with reporters. "In my mind, there was a point in which early, early on, I was like, 'Does it make sense to sit out? Does it make sense to play?' You always try to figure out that battle, but this is the conclusion I came to: Playing allows you to amplify your platform. It allows people to continue to focus on you, and by focusing on you, they're indirectly going to focus on whatever you're saying to the media.

"They're focusing on whatever you put on your jersey, they're focusing on everything you do while you're in Orlando, while you're in the bubble playing," he added. "People are gonna have to pay attention if they want to watch basketball, and that was ultimately the decision and the conclusion and reasoning I came to."

After successfully completing his quarantine period, Brogdon joined team practices on July 15 while wearing a mask as a precautionary measure. Before the league suspended play on March 11 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brogdon averaged 16.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 7.1 assists for the Pacers in 48 games this season.

His foundation includes a social and criminal justice reform platform, a focus on clean water for Africa, and education.

Brogdon's mother, Jann Adams, is the foundation's executive director.

"I've made a commitment, I've signed a contract with the Pacers, and that's something I'm always going to see through," Brogdon said. "During the civil rights movement in the '60s, Dr. King and all these people that had different jobs, they didn't stop working to march, they did both, and I don't think it has to be an 'either or.' I think it can be an 'and,' so I've decided to do both. I think I can actually make more noise. I can have a bigger platform and a bigger voice while playing and while continuing my work here in the bubble."