The NBA no longer refers to its team owners as “owners.”
Commissioner Adam Silver told TMZ Sports on Monday that the league long ago stopped using the term to describe those who own NBA teams.
Instead, it uses “governor” and “alternate governor” to describe owners and part-owners of teams.
TMZ reported June 3 that several teams — including the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers — had dropped the word “owner” from their vocabulary because it’s “racially insensitive.”
The outlet asked Silver whether he supported their decision.
“I don’t want to overreact to the term because, as I said earlier, people end up twisting themselves into knots avoiding the use of the word ‘owner,'” he said. “But we moved away from that term years ago in the league.”
The logic is that since the league is about 74 percent black and the team owners are mostly white, the word “owner” evokes America’s history of slavery.
It’s what Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors claimed in 2017.
“Very rarely do we take the time to rethink something and say, ‘Maybe that’s not the way,'” Green told ESPN. “Just because someone was taught that 100 years ago doesn’t make that the right thing today. And so, when you look at the word ‘owner,’ it really dates back to slavery.
“The word ‘owner,’ ‘master’ — it dates back to slavery. … We just took the words and we continued to put it to use.”
The response from fans to the move is likely not what the league expected.
Clay Travis of Fox Sports Radio tweeted a poll asking fans if they agreed with the NBA’s decision. With about 80,000 votes cast in the poll as of Monday afternoon, more than 90 percent said no.
Do you agree with @NBA decision to replace word “owner” with “governor” because the word owner is racially insensitive?
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) June 24, 2019
The term “owners” certainly isn’t meant to be racial; it’s just the correct term to describe what the people do for a living.
NBA owners own their team in the same way a small business owner would own a barbershop, restaurant or gift shop. Slavery and race have nothing to do with it.
After all, when the NBA was founded, its 1946-1947 inaugural season did not have any minority players. Even still, the teams had owners.
It’s a phrase used in all four major sports in the United States, including Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League, both of which are majority white leagues.
On average, NBA players are paid $6.4 million per season, according to Basketball Reference.
On top of that, they receive endorsement deals and can earn money from public appearances. The teams also travel in private jets, and players have time off during the season. What they do is far from slavery.
This is just an example of the NBA pandering to political correctness. There was no need to change the term to appease the easily offended.
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