Commissioner Adam Silver has announced the NBA will be removing Black Lives Matter logos and slogans from the courts and jerseys next season as the organization looks to regain its lost viewership.
During an interview with Rachel Nichols on NBA Countdown, Silver said his organization would continue to stand for civil rights but would return the stadiums and jerseys to “normalcy.”
“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 doing that going forward?” Nichols asked via Outkick.
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.’
Outkick reports the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent restrictions forced the NBA to suspend their season for several months. While the league has resumed its season, it is now being forced to compete for views alongside the NFL and MLB seasons.
The report adds:
The ratings have fallen precipitously throughout the playoffs and especially during the NBA Finals. It’s true that the NBA is out of season, other out-of-season sports like hockey and horse racing are down a lot too, and it’s weird with no fans in the stands. The NBA is competing against football games and MLB playoffs when it normally has national sports fans’ attention mostly to themselves, and it’s a miracle how seamlessly they pulled off the bubble for their fans and TV partners.
On the other hand, the league’s biggest star, LeBron James, and sexiest franchise, the Los Angeles Lakers, are setting one all-time low after another after another for NBA Finals viewership.
Adam Silver says NBA social justice warrior messages on the court and jerseys will be gone next season. NBA sees the ratings collapse & knows they are destroying their business. https://t.co/vlRarwgB2U
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 6, 2020