Why I tuned out of the NBA
On Friday, Oct. 9, the Los Angeles Lakers, a premier franchise of the National Basketball Association, will square off against the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Meanwhile, yours truly will not be watching a single second of it.
It may seem strange to some people that a sports editor is refusing to watch a major national sporting event, but I have my reasons. In fact, I have so many reasons for not wanting to support the NBA any longer, I really don’t know where to start.
I guess I should begin with the game’s biggest star, LeBron James. As a former fan of James, I believe that while his talents on the court are other worldly, his uneducated opinions on non-basketball related matters has soiled his reputation. The fact that NBA Finals rating have dropped a staggering 70 percent since his last Finals appearance in 2018 proves to me I am not the only fan who has soured on King James.
Among James’ startlingly ignorant opinions, he is on record as stating that people of color are being hunted by law enforcement on a regular basis. This viewpoint is not only dumb, it is quite dangerous. By utilizing his global platform to fabricate nonsensical statements, I believe he fans the flames for even more societal division. Meanwhile, James is encouraged to continue this negative behavior as Don Lemon, Max Kellerman, Trevor Noah, and a litany of other left-wing media hacks applaud the basketball star by describing his statements as “brave”, “insightful” and “woke”.
I also place heavy blame on NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who has allowed this type of behavior by the players to go unchecked. In my opinion, Silver’s compliance of allowing players to kneel during the National Anthem while also showcasing social justice slogans on the court and on the player’s uniforms, he is essentially alienating a large portion of the league’s fan base who simply want to sit down, relax and watch a basketball game without getting lectured to. As a college graduate myself, I find it comical that a league full of college dropouts are virtue signaling about civil right issues they have not yet studied in school. While no political savant myself, even I have more of a working knowledge of such topics than a group of people who make millions of dollars putting a ball through a hoop.
I also take issue with the lack of backbone displayed by Silver when the Milwaukee Bucks decided not to participate in a playoff game after news broke of the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin back in late August of this year. In my view, Silver’s predecessor David Stern, a disciplinarian who cleaned up the league by issuing lifetime bans on Michael Ray Richardson, Roy Tarpley and other players who went afoul of the NBA drug policies, would not have allowed players to walk out on their contractual obligations without facing heavy financial ramifications. With the absence of any penalty, players will now be encouraged to stage another strike whenever they wish, and for whatever cause they deem worthy.
Making matters worse, it turns out there was a warrant out for Blake’s arrest at the time of his shooting, and he was not compliant with law enforcement at the scene which eventually led to his shooting. And this who NBA players want to push all their chips in the middle of the table for?
If these reasons weren’t enough to tune out on this faultering league, the icing on the cake is the fact that the National Basketball Association is big time business partners with China. Known for its communist practices for centuries, China represents the polar opposite of democracy, something the NBA claims it is fighting for. I would love to see an unenlightened half wit such as King James openly bad mouth Chinese president Xi Jinping the same way he consistently bad mouths his own president, Donald Trump. But of course, that would never happen as James profits hand over fist from the cheap labor used to produce his Nike products overseas. In other words, James is only a social justice champion when it is financially convenient.
While James, Silver and others deserve a lion’s share of the blame for their league’s ever dwindling television ratings, I think this can serve as a wakeup call for fans. The NBA has taken us for granted, and the league believes the public will continue to support their business ventures while they simultaneously insult our intelligence; inundating our senses with hypocritcal social justice minutiae. Let’s all make a stand by simply changing the channel.