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Norfolk State basketball coach Robert Jones gives support to The Advancement of Blacks in Sports

Norfolk StateNorfolk State men’s basketball head coach Robert Jones has pledged his support to The Advancement of Blacks in Sports, a newly formed non-profit organization with a mission to connect and inspire people to boldly advocate for racial, social, and economic justice for blacks in sports.

“I chose to be a part of ABIS because this is the time,” said Jones. “It is time for social change as well as change within intercollegiate athletics. There are strength in numbers, and there are some very influential people in this group. Together we can make the change that is needed.”

ABIS works to foster a culture of equity and inclusion in all aspects of sports. Since the tragic death of George Floyd, ABIS founder and basketball grassroots coaching legend Gary Charles has meticulously identified and partnered with a unique collaborative team of leading African-American professionals in sports, music, law and business to assist in the normalization of equal rights and fair treatment of black people.

“The passing of John Thompson means another American icon has passed away. One of the best ways to honor him is for us to continue the legacy he started,” said Charles in the ABIS press release. “We have not been fully embraced in the board room, had more head coaching positions, and been consistently blocked out of revenues earned through contracts specific to athletics. ABIS seeks to align with student-athletes and other professionals who are willing to use their voices for the betterment of all blacks in sports. It is time for advancement.”

Keys for ABIS include economic sustainability, education, grassroots and community outreach, racial equity research, and student-athlete engagement. They serve as the guiding framework for the elimination of inequitable hiring and retention practices in sports, access to economic opportunities at sporting events for black business owners, increasing awareness of the value of curriculum that teaches African-American history, the promotion of civics and voter engagement, assistance with transition of student-athletes from graduation to careers, and the protection of student-athletes during and outside of competition.

For more about ABIS, visit

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