In this political climate, everything has become political, even sports. It seems the days of meeting up with friends and watching a sports game are over. When the 2019/2020 basketball season resumed after a COVID 19 break, the franchise allowed politics to be a huge part of playoffs. The playoff courts have Black Lives Matter down each side of the court and players can have certain sayings on their jerseys like “I can’t breathe”, “Peace”, and “Power to the People”.
It’s unfortunate the franchise allowed politics to creep in because it has even caused conflict on the court between players. This happened last week.
“LA Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell and Dallas Mavericks Slovenian star Luka Doncic got into a scuffle last night that ended with Harrell calling Doncic a ‘b***h a*s white boy,’” Outkick columnist Gary Sheffield Jr. wrote. “The solution here is simple, even if many won’t like it: the NBA has to suspend Montrezl Harrell and send a message that race-based derogatory comments like his on the basketball court won’t be tolerated. The NBA has already set this precedent with gay slurs on the court, why not with racial-based insults as well?”
“B!tch a$$ white boy”
– Montrezl Harrell to Luka Doncic pic.twitter.com/tlzxIFOerz
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) August 22, 2020
“Montrezl Harrell’s comments have already spawned a million ‘If the races were reversed’ conversations on social media and there is no doubt that if Luka had referred to Montrezl Harrell as a ‘b**** a** black boy,’ that the social media condemnation would have rained down from the heavens on Luka,” Sheffield added. “In fact, Luka would probably be suspended for the remainder of the season. He would be crushed, a social pariah in all of sports.”
Days later Kings sports announcer was dubbed racist when he tweeted, “All Lives Matter”. He ended up resigning from his position while little happened to Harrell for his actual racist comment.
Lol as expected.
— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) June 1, 2020
Thursday morning they considered boycotting the rest of the season after the Jacob Blake shooting. When the teams had a meeting the Lakers and the Clippers seemed to be the only two teams wanting to boycott. LeBron James even stormed out of the meeting while the two teams followed him. LeBron James said in the meeting he wants the team owners to be more involved and take action.
But here’s the deal. The basketball franchise is not supposed to be about politics. Basketball players don’t get paid to be politicians or activists. If they chose to do that it should be in their own time. Not at the expense of the NBA franchise.
JR Smith had a strong message relating to the NBA players’ boycott. pic.twitter.com/80yPYnj5gv
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 26, 2020
So far this is the ending result of the meeting today.
“NBA playoff games for today will not be played as scheduled. We are hopeful to resume games either Friday or Saturday. There is a video conference call meeting scheduled later this afternoon between a group of NBA players and team governors representing the 13 teams in Orlando, along with representatives from the National Basketball Players Association and the league office and NBA Labor Relations Committee Chairman Michael Jordan, to discuss next steps.”