The National Basketball Association has plans to pull back from publicly pushing its racial justice agenda.
In a recent interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols on “NBA Countdown,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver hinted that the league will be retreating from their woke corporate position on the Black Lives Matter movement and take a subtler, more “off the court” approach to social justice advocacy.
“I would say, in terms of the messages you see on our court, on the jerseys, this was an extraordinary moment in time when we began the discussions with the players, and what we all lived through this summer.”
While Silver claims that the NBA still believes that racial equality is important, he says that the league will be proposing different ways to advocate for those issues in the future.
“We’re completely committed to standing for social justice and racial equality, and that’s been the case going back decades. It’s part of the DNA of this league. How it gets manifested is something we’re going to have to sit down with the players and discuss for next season,” he explained.
Silver said he hopes that the decision by the league will provide a sense of “normalcy” to fans and viewers who valued the sport for its entertainment value and not its political agenda.
“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. “And I understand those people who are saying ‘I’m on your side, but I want to watch a basketball game.'”
The decision comes after months of falling NBA ratings following the organization’s broad appeal to “championing” social and racial justice. While there are numerous reasons why these ratings have taken a dip, it is speculated that the league’s drastic shift towards accommodating and even mandating “Black Lives Matter” messages on courts, jerseys, and in statements incentivized some viewers to forgo watching any games. Viewers also expressed disinterest after multiple players and teams walked out of their playoff games in the name of racial justice for Kenosha man Jacob Blake after he was shot by cops in August.