The NBA, much as I may love the sport and organization, has often times been rather submissive of Leftist ideals, from boycotting North Carolina over their transgender bathroom laws (which have since been foolishly overturned), thus moving their All-Star game away from Charlotte (home of the Charlotte Hornets) and to New Orleans and now, to the potential change in titles for team owners.
While the NBA isn’t necessarily pressuring league executives to change the title to something else, according to TMZ, a number of teams are in the process of changing the titles of their team owners from “owner” to something like “CEO” or “Chairman”. Matter of fact, the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers have both already changed their owners’ title from “owner” to “managing partner” and “chairman” respectively.
This comes as a response to some comments made last year by Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green when he went on LeBron James’ HBO sports show, “The Shop”, that he believes the term “owner” was racially insensitive.
“You shouldn’t say owner,” Green said on the show. “When you think of a basketball team, nobody thinks of the f**kin’ Golden State Warriors and think of that damn bridge. They think of the players that make that team… you don’t even know what the f*** [the bridge] is called.” He went on to say that the term “owner” implies that the person who owns the team owns the players on that team.
“Comedian” Jon Stewart added to Green’s words by saying: “When your product is purely the labor of people, then owner sounds like something that is of a feudal nature.”
Back in 2017, Green had made similar comments to reporters, saying: “Very rarely do we take the time to rethink something and say, ‘Maybe that’s not the way.’ Just because someone was taught 100 years ago doesn’t make that the right thing today. And so, when you look at the word ‘owner’, it really dates back to slavery. The word ‘owner’, ‘master’ – it dates back to slavery… we just took the words and we continued to put it to use.”
Suffice it to say that Draymond Green is not a smart cookie.
First of all, there is no racial connection in this particular context. An NBA team’s owner doesn’t own the players. If anything, the team’s President or General Manager owns the players because he or she gets to make the decision as to what happens to that player, whether it’s trading them away for another player or draft picks, or it’s outright cutting them from the team. And yet, people don’t make any connections here with slave trade from back in the day. Why? BECAUSE THERE IS NO RACIAL CONNECTION HERE EITHER!
But just watch, there will be someone at some point who will try and say trades in the NBA (or any other sport) are tantamount to slave trade. In fact, I remember writing something similar back in August of 2017 about a fantasy football auction aired on ESPN that was howled as racist. Despite the fact that actual NFL owners essentially draft players in a similar manner (although without cardboard cutouts of the players’ faces, but even that is silly to claim is racist), the fantasy football auction was decried as a racist spectacle similar to a slave auction or trade.
So it’s not like there isn’t already some precedent of inflating something and making it seem worse than it actually is. A fantasy football auction where “owners” bid on players to add to their team isn’t racist, professional sports teams trading players to improve their team in some way isn’t racist and the title of “owner” has nothing to do with slavery in the context of sports.
To address what Green said, he is right in as far as when people think of the Golden State Warriors, they don’t think of the bridge. They think of the players like Green himself, like Kevin Durant, like Stephen Curry, etc. But no one thinks of them as "owned property” either. They think of them as exceptional players that any team would love to build their team around.
So when someone thinks of the owner of one of these teams, they think of it in terms of these people owning THE FRANCHISE ITSELF, not the players in question. Especially because the owners typically are not involved in the actual running of the franchise. There are rare cases of owners who also run the front office of the teams, like Michael Jordan, but for the most part, owners attend the games, do things to promote their teams and will converse with the players in the actual team in order to bond and create good chemistry altogether.
But the task of making trades, of negotiating deals, of arranging the rosters largely falls upon the President of Basketball Operations for each of the teams. The owners don’t OWN the players. They own the FRANCHISE.
Now, not everyone within the NBA actually agrees with Draymond Green here. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (of whom I am not a fan because he is a NeverTrumper) actually pushed back against the ridiculous idea that NBA ownership could in any way be considered equal to slave ownership: “For him to try to turn it into something it’s not is wrong. He owes the NBA an apology. I think he does, because to try to create some connotation that owning equity in a company that you busted your ass for is equivalent of ownership in terms of people, that’s just wrong… People who read that message and misinterpret it – make it seem like we don’t do everything possible to help our players succeed and don’t care about their families and don’t care about their lives, like hopefully we do for all of our employees – that’s just wrong.”
And Cuban is right here. The owners do whatever they can to take good care of the players on their payroll. Old Democrat Southern slave owners could hardly care about their slaves, only in so far as they are fine enough to be able to be traded. It is asinine and borderline dangerous to even suggest that NBA owners could be considered similar at any capacity to slave owners who would beat their slaves and force them into slavery, living in appalling living conditions even for the time.
NBA players (as well as sports players in general) are far from being slaves. These people are paid millions of dollars annually. Draymond Green himself is paid $16 million a year to be a career 9 point per game player (granted, he’s not the main scorer of the team by far, but he gets paid an awful lot anyway). He gets paid $16 million a year to be the team’s worst player in their starting lineup (granted, this is the Warriors, who have All-Star-caliber players in their starting five, but he’s arguably the worst of the starting five anyway).
So to suggest there is any connection to racism or slavery in the term “owner” is asinine. But it goes to show you the state of America’s racial progress. You don’t find racism everywhere you go. People aren’t dropping racial terms wherever you go and people aren’t being systematically discriminated against for the color of their skin. People have to either LOOK for racism or INVENT racist acts, like former Empire actor Jussie Smollett.
No one can credibly say we are in as bad a racial position today as we were in the pre-Civil Rights era. That’s not to say that racism doesn’t still happen, but it’s a rather rare occurrence. And people like Draymond Green, who I dare say is rather privileged, considering his salary, aren’t routinely discriminated against because of his race, so he has to make stuff up and look for racism where there is none.
Do you know who actually had been discriminated against in the NBA? Bill Russell, and that was in the 1960s, when the league was still mostly full of white people. He would get berated for being black even by fans of the team he played for (Boston Celtics). But that sort of thing doesn’t happen anymore, so people who are convinced America is racist have to settle for looking for things that aren’t racist.
For example, not long ago, a fan was banned from attending Chicago Cubs games (baseball) for doing the “okay” sign. Actually, it wasn’t even the “okay” sign, but a dumb game that kids play where they make the similar gesture so people will look and you could punch them on the shoulder. I used to play that game on occasion when I was younger. But because the gesture is the same as “okay”, which is now considered to be a neo-Nazi symbol (for the stupidest of reasons), he was banned.
People have to look for examples of racism now because America is nowhere near as racist as these people would like for it to be. They have to look for things that are offensive and pretend that something is offensive or wrong when the context is far from racial.
They do this because of the current victimhood culture that we see. Everyone wants to pretend they’ve been wronged by something or someone, usually by the country itself, and wish for social justice to occur. Celebrities like Draymond or LeBron perpetuate this stuff so that they appear to be “cool” or “woke” for their fanbases.
It’s all bullcrap. Draymond has never experienced racial discrimination to the level of someone like even Bill Russell, let alone people who grew up and lived before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (and even a little after, since the culture still needed to change). Draymond is not the victim of racial discrimination, neither is LeBron.
America is not the racist hole these people pretend it is. An NBA team owner doesn’t own the players, he owns the team – the franchise. To allude to that being in any way racist or different from what it is to be totally ignorant of reality, or to outright deny it.
1 Thessalonians 3:12
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
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