NBA caves! No 'Black Lives Matter' on courts and jerseys next year

     

    NBA commissioner Adam Silver casually let drop the bombshell news that the NBA will remove the name of the Marxist revolutionary organization Black Lives Matter from its basketball courts and player jerseys next season.  This comes following catastrophic ratings declines to all-time lows for the league's playoff games. From Sports Illustrated:

    While the NFL is only suffering from a very slight ratings dip, the NBA has seen a severe viewer tune out. The question is, just how alarmed should the league be by this development?

    Here are the numbers for the first three games of the Finals between the Heat and Lakers.

    Those numbers for Game 2 and 3 are all-time lows for the NBA Finals.  

    There are some mitigating factors in terms of competing programming for Games 2 and 3, but they don't begin to account for the magnitude of the crash:

    The real issue is that the first game drew seven million viewers while last year's Finals between the Warriors and Raptors averaged 15.1 million viewers.

    Speaking with friendly interviewer Rachel Nichols of ESPN on that network's NBA Countdown show, at the end of an interview focused mainly on COVID prevention issues came the following exchange, via Citizen Free Press:  

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    Rachel Nichols: The NBA has certainly been the most visible billion-dollar organization championing social justice and civil rights. As you noted in your press conference the other day, though, that has not been universally popular. How committed are you to be that going forward?

    Adam Silver: 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. I would say, in terms of the messages you see on the court and our jerseys, this was an extraordinary moment in time when we began these discussions with the players and what we all lived through this summer. 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.'  

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