In what can only be described as a theater of the absurd, reports have surfaced indicating NBA teams are looking to do away with the title of “owner” because it may be seen as “racially insensitive.”
The ‘owner’ is, of course, the individual who owns a majority stake in the franchise – from somebody who oversees merchandise to tickets to making personnel decisions – not somebody who owns the players as if they are property.
TMZ reports that “multiple NBA teams have had high-level conversations” about making the politically correct move, with two already having done so specifically.
“We’re told the conversations essentially center around the idea that the term, owner – in a league where the majority of the players are black – feels racially insensitive,” they noted.
The NBA is exploring banning the term owner, as in team owner, because it is racially insensitive. Is using the term “owner” in pro sports racially insensitive?
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) June 4, 2019
The Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers have both removed the title of ‘owner’ from their owner, with the former utilizing the term ‘managing partners,’ and the latter going with ‘Chairman.’
The league itself is reportedly not pushing the issue.
ESPN recently admitted their political coverage had hurt the network’s bottom line as viewers rejected the notion of the network engaging in false social justice commentary. Will the NBA meet the same fate?
How Did This Begin?
The wild notion that the word ‘owner’ could be seen as some sort of racist code harkening back to the days of slavery picked up steam when Draymond Green, power forward for the back-to-back NBA champion Golden State Warriors, mused about it on an episode of HBO’s “The Shop.”
That show, co-executive produced by NBA superstar LeBron James, aired in late 2018 and featured Green claiming: “You shouldn’t say owner.”
Watch below (Warning: Language):
Green had also reportedly made the suggestion in a discussion with reporters in 2017.
“When you look at the word ‘owner,’ it really dates back to slavery,” he said. “The word ‘owner,’ ‘master’—it dates back to slavery… we just took the words and we continued to put it to use.”
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word ‘owner’ dates back to the 14th century and refers to individuals who owned land.
Not Everyone Agrees
In an interview with ESPN, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban pushed back on Green’s assertion that the word ‘owner’ has racial overtones, noting that it reflects an individual who runs the organization like a business, not someone who owns players.
“To try to turn it into something that it’s not is ridiculous,” Cuban said at the time. “Draymond can trash-talk on the court, but when he comes into our world, it doesn’t fly.”
The Mavericks owner even took a shot at Green’s education.
“I guess it’s because he went to Michigan State and didn’t take any business classes, but you own equity,” he explained. “When you own a team, you own equity, shares of stock. That’s called ownership.”
Cuban, widely beloved by his players, added, “Tell him if he wants to take classes at Indiana’s business school, I’ll even pay for his classes and we’ll help him learn that stuff.”
When asked for comment regarding a revival of the ‘owner’ controversy, Cuban declined.
“It’s a non-issue,” he said. “No reason to bring it back to life.”
Unfortunately, the self-proclaimed social justice warriors in the sports world aren’t going to let the issue die until the word ‘owner’ is erased from every major sports franchise in America.
And what will that accomplish in terms of race relations, in terms of equality, in terms of respect for each other as human beings? Absolutely nothing.
Draymond and any NBA executive entertaining this ridiculous story needs to, well … shut up and dribble.
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