It took a major hit to ratings and revenue for the NBA to realize what many fans had warned them about: We want to watch basketball, not leftist political activism when we tune in to games. NBA+activism=bad ratings.
When asked about plans for next year, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said most of the activism will not be allowed on-court next year. But, nonetheless, he tried to sound supportive of it:
“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 gonna have to sit down with the players and discuss for next season,” he 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. And I understand those people who are saying ‘I’m on your side, but I want to watch a basketball game,” added Silver.
Ryan at Sports Wars on Youtube gives this blistering analysis of the hard lesson learned by the NBA:
These basketball-playing birds get it. We admire their athletic skills but don’t care about their politics:
Will the NBA let activism destroy ratings next year? Will they be able to walk the fine line between keeping players content and trying to bring back fans next year? Should they just stick to basketball?