NBA Team Sponsored by Disney Donates $50K to GOP Candidate's PAC: 'Very Odd'


Politics do appear to make for some strange connections and degrees of separation.

The latest public example of this comes from, of all things, the NBA’s Orlando Magic franchise.

The Magic, often viewed as the “little brother” of the two Florida-based NBA teams (the other being the Miami Heat), are the “very odd” fulcrum with which there is now a bizarre and tangible connection between the Walt Disney Company and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

How so? It all stems from political donations, as observed by SFGate political editor Alex Shultz:

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“Orlando Magic appear to be the first NBA team… ever? to back a presidential candidate: $50k to Ron DeSantis’s Super PAC,” Schultz posted to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “I asked spox to clarify if donation should instead be attributed to owner Richard DeVos; response was ‘we don’t comment publicly on political contributions.'”

“[T]eam owners dumping money on presidential candidates (especially conservatives) is not new; in this case, it’s very odd that, when given the opportunity, the organization isn’t distancing itself from the DeSantis donation,” Schultz added.

Does Ron DeSantis have your support for president?

So that’s a solid five-figure sum directly linking the Magic and team owner Richard DeVos to DeSantis.

Disney, meanwhile, is perpetually linked with the Magic through the NBA’s Community Sponsorship program. The deal, which was extended in October 2022, includes a myriad of standard corporate partnership agreements, but notably, also means that Disney’s emblematic logo is emblazoned on Magic jerseys.

Remember, DeSantis has been embroiled in an ugly feud with Disney stemming from the company’s vocal opposition to the governor’s past legislation.

In the most recent chapter of that ongoing feud, Team DeSantis just secured a key legal victory that could annul some of Disney’s countermeasures.

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And thanks to the Magic, the two will now be inextricably linked for something other than a bitter rivalry.

Unsurprisingly, the revelation that DeVos contributed to a Republican cause has triggered an uproar from players.

The NBA Players Association put out a scathing statement, blasting the move as “alarming.”

“A political contribution from the Orlando Magic is alarming given recent comments and policies of its beneficiary,” the NBPA’s statement read. “NBA governors, players and personnel have the right to express their personal political views, including through donations and statements.

“However, if contributions are made on behalf of an entire team, using money earned through the labor of its employees, it is incumbent upon the team governors to consider the diverse values and perspectives of staff and players.

“The Magic’s donation does not represent player support for the recipient.”

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
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