Posted on October 8, 2020

NBA to Leave BLM, Social Justice Messaging ‘off the Floor’ Next Season

Daniel Canova, Fox News, October 7, 2020

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made an appearance on NBA Countdown earlier this week to talk about the social justice messages that the league has on their basketball courts, as well as on players’ jerseys.

Silver says these messages will be “largely left off the floor” next season.

“We’re completely committed to standing for social justice and racial equality and that’s been the case going back decades,” Silver said in the interview. “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.

Silver continued: “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.’”

Friday’s Game 2 of the series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat was watched by 6.07 million viewers, a drop from last year’s Game 2 Finals, and from this year’s Game 1 (7.41 million). Game 3 ratings fell again to 5.94 million viewers, marking the least-watched NBA Finals game on record, according to Sports Media Watch.

Some have consistently pointed to the NBA embracing social justice issues right off the bat of its restarted season in the bubble. The NBA allowed players to wear social justice messages on the back of their jerseys and painted Black Lives Matter on the court for each game that was played at Disney World in Orlando, Fla., while staying silent on other major issues in the world, including atrocities in China.