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The virtual-signaling, very woke National Basketball Association has reportedly settled on a list of social justice messages that can be displayed on the back of player jerseys for the first four days of the restarted season.
The suspended NBA season is scheduled to restart on July 30 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla., at the Walt Disney World Resort. The NBA has reportedly already agreed to paint the words Black Lives Matter inside the sidelines on all three arenas that will be in use when the games begin.
Given massive guaranteed salaries and other forms of leverage, the players pretty much run the NBA, even though there is no constitutional guarantee of free speech in the private sector workplace. Thus, the league and the players’ union (i.e., billionaires and millionaires) reportedly ironed out, as it were, the following list:
- Black Lives Matter
- Say Their Names
- I Can’t Breathe
- Power to the People
- Justice Now
- Say Her Name
- Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can)
- See Us
- Hear Us
- Respect Us
- Love Us
- Listen to Us
- Stand Up
- I Am A Man
- Speak Up
- How Many More
- Group Economics
- Education Reform
Players, who generally seek blue-check Twitter applause for their activism/brand above all else, can opt for just a traditional jersey containing their last name, but the peer pressure in the locker room is going to be enormous to go with the customized messaging.
“After the first four nights, a player can simply go back to their last name. If they choose to continue showing a social message, their name would go below the number,” ESPN explained.
“The NBA and NBPA announced an agreement on June 24 to continue to discuss fighting systemic racism and to make it one of the focuses of the restart,” ESPN added.
Over the past few years, NBA TV ratings have trended downward substantially.
The vast majority of NBA fans regardless of background or ideology watch games as an escape from politics and other serious concerns, so it remains to be seen how social justice messaging will affect 2020 viewership. The National Football League may encounter the same dilemma when, as expected, players kneel during the National Anthem.
These will perhaps be more test cases for the get woke, go broke concept.
That aside, many have pointed out that messaging supporting Hong Kong democracy, All Lives Matter, pro-life, or MAGA-related would never have had a chance.
I’m not seeing “Free Hong Kong,” on the list. Probably just an oversight. https://t.co/x8EGMVFCrX
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) July 4, 2020
The Hong Kong issue is particularly relevant in that hypocritical NBA luminaries such as LeBron James, Steve Kerr, and Greg Popovich have consistently ripped America generally for its shortcomings and President Trump personally for his, but have clammed up about China’s human rights abuses and the CCP’s crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.
Last year, the Houston Rockets general manager caused an international ruckus with a simple pro-Hong Kong tweet because the cash-hungry NBA, China, and Nike consist of a three-legged stool. China is the NBA’s largest overseas market.
Former Fox Sports host Jason Whitlock maintains that because of the deal cut between owners (now called governors) and players about jersey messaging “NBA games will be 94-feet, divisive political rallies. The players prioritized social media brand building above enticing and pleasing the largest American television audience possible…The NBA no longer even pretends to care about American sports fans. Working at the behest of its de facto parent company and mentor (Nike), the NBA adopts practices and standards that smear America and please China.”
Glossing over the lack of freedom under Beijing’s dictatorship, an authoritarian regime that would never allow social justice messaging on team uniforms, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said recently that he hopes that the U.S. and China “can find mutual respect for each other.”
Now-woke Twitter reacted to the NBA’s corporate-approved social justice slogans:
A giant corporation giving their employees a pre-approved list of social justice messages they can choose from. This is the most hilarious “revolution” in history.
— Tragic Bronson (@Lumbergh88) July 4, 2020
“Defund the refs” is next
— Ethan (@EthanFr77779567) July 4, 2020
It isn’t really free speech if your speech contains one of 29 pre approved messages. That said, I am the dope for thinking an organization in bed with China gives a crap about the First Amendment.
— Joseph Aubry (@joew8302) July 4, 2020
Does Affirmative Action fall under systemic racism?
— Tony Balboa (@ADChill320) July 4, 2020
Won’t be watching the NBA or NFL this year. Not really about the message itself just that I want to watch sports to escape from politics. That’s why Americans love sports so much. Its always been a place where we can relax and enjoy ourselves or with others.
— Jarrod Newton (@JCNew82) July 4, 2020
How about “Capt. Dorn”, or maybe “FREE Hong Kong”?
— B&B FOREVER (@BBFOREV89770409) July 4, 2020
I’m done with American pro sports. Absolutely done
— Mr AJ (@MiamiAJ4) July 4, 2020
@NBA I’m sure this was just an oversight, that “Free Hong Kong” was left off the list. I’ll look for an amended list soon.
— Jeff (@jbird_98) July 4, 2020
What should be added to the list to wear “HYPOCRISY’
— michael parker (@parker825) July 4, 2020
How bout ‘ Oppression Made Me A Millionaire ‘
— Jack Fistfight👊🇺🇲👊 (@JackFistfight) July 4, 2020
How about the name of the 3 year old from Chicago? Nike won’t allow?
— Bruce Krause (@BruceKrause13) July 4, 2020