NBA Commissioner Adam Silver believes the social justice and political messages happening during games will mostly end after the current season.
Silver mentioned this during an interview with ESPN before Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday.
“I would say, in terms of the messages you see on the court and the jerseys, this was an extraordinary moment in time when we began these discussions with the players and what we all lived through this summer,” Silver said.
“My sense is there’ll be somewhat a return to normalcy, that those messages will largely be left to be delivered off the floor,” Silver said.
Silver also sympathized with those wanting to speak out, but admitted that sports entertainment might not be the place for heavy-hitting political commentary:
“And, I understand those people who are saying, ‘I’m on your side, but I want to watch a basketball game,” Silver said.
Television ratings for the NBA’s 2020 finals have been the lowest in the history of the professional basketball franchise.
Many have attributed the low ratings to players sporting social justice, Black Lives Matter and the general politicization of the sport this season.
This was in addition to players, coaches and other associated with the NBA filling their social media channels with similar political messaging.
Many people think that viewers are simply tired of it – they just want their basketball.
Commissioner Silver’s comments seem to indicate that he realizes politics in his sport has gone too far and has severely hurt the NBA.
Now, will the NBA be able to make players stop making political statement during games in 2021?
That’s a good question. It’s also an open question.
Time will tell.
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