Ethics Alarms Translation: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Explains It All

NBA I cant breath

In a recent interview, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gave a useful and predictable, if disheartening, response to a question about the National Basketball Association’s crashing ratings, and the widespread (and surely accurate) belief that many fans have been alienated by the league’s endorsement of aggressive Black Lives Matter propaganda in the arenas, on the courts, on players’ uniforms, and in other aspects of the sport.

Rachel Nichols on NBA Countdown asked the businessman, and I use that term pointedly,

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 being that going forward?

I have to interject here: “not universally popular” is craven equivocation by the interviewer, echoing several Ethics Alarms rationalizations like, 19A The Insidious Confession, or “It wasn’t the best choice.” I hate that crap; as I get older, I hate it more: “It wasn’t everything we hoped for” used to mean, “It was a complete disaster,” and similar weasel words to avoid being direct and honest. The NBA’s Black Lives Matter boot-licking wasn’t “not universally popular,” it was unambiguously unpopular. Such deliberate avoidance of the truth is deceit, and is a variety of fake news.

Silver responded,

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.

What’s going on here? The Ethics Alarms Translation:

Of course, we claim to be in favor of social justice, but as you know and anyone paying attention knows, the NBA, like the other professional sports leagues, is and will always be about making money, as much as possible. That’s why, while “standing for social justice” the NBA is so deeply in bed with China, a flagrant human rights abuser, that we could count its snores. We have potential billions invested in China, and our supposedly socially conscious black superstars know what side of the wanton their soy sauce is on. What do they care about Chinese slave labor, political prisoners and ethnic cleansing of Uighurs?

Unlike the other sports leagues, the NBA is overwhelmingly black, and its biggest, most bankable star is black, LeBron James. Along comes an expedient and cynical movement capitalizing on an emotionally flammable incident in Minnesota and using it to make white people feel guilty and tremble in terror of what angry mobs might do, and of course our players are going to jump on the bandwagon without really investigating the facts or what’s going on. Most of them still have close ties to the communities that are rioting. And we have no product without them. The black stars, led by LeBron, literally call the shots. Sure, if some scrub announced that he was boycotting a scheduled game because of Jacob Blake being shot, he’d be released so fast it would break the sound barrier. But this is Lebron James we’re talking about here. In baseball, Mokkie Betts led the one-game strike: his is the top selling jersey, did you know that? If Tom Brady had started kneeling at NFL games, do you think it would have taken this long for the NFL to cave?

Don’t you read Ethics Alarms? The King’s Pass? Hello?

So the players demanded that the NBA join them in grandstanding and shoving “Black Lives Matter” and “Silence is Violence” and all sorts of related junk in our fans’ faces. We knew our white fans wouldn’t like being called racist and that even most of our black fans don’t want to have their sports polluted by politics. We knew it would be seen as partisan politicking, and we knew it would cost us money, but look: with the season being disrupted and the games being played to empty arenas anyway, , this half-assed season was the best possible time to grovel to the players with minimum damage.

We also knew that our actions would put pressure on the other leagues to do the same, or be called supporters of systemic racism. Well, screw ‘em. It’s not our jobs to look out for other sports, just ours.

Our players may be ignorant, and politically naïve, spoiled by being declared gods before their 25th birthdays and paid more in a year than I’ve earned in a lifetime, but they aren’t fools. They know that if the game’s popularity crashes, they will feel it in the wallet. That’s why I don’t foresee any problem with keeping the virtue-signaling and the Black Lives Matter rhetoric off the court.

Look, we’re in business to make money. In business, the motto is “Integrity Doesn’t Matter.”

13 thoughts on “Ethics Alarms Translation: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Explains It All

  1. We’re completely committed to standing for social justice and racial equality and that’s been the case going back decades.

    This is such a massive 1984 newspeak statement. They absolutely do not. They are grossly disproportionately slewed Black. Whites are under-represented, Asian and Hispanic are almost non-existent. Baseball is the best sport regarding racial equality. Anyone who even remotely is aware of the stars in baseball can name off multiple Asian and Hispanic stars. Go ahead, try that with the NBA – I bet you can’t.

    On top of that – the NBA is bashing America while genuflecting to the communist Chinese. They are doing this while the CCP is actively committing genocide against a minority group.

    • Well, it could be that they are really just communist sympathizers. It might not be true, but it is completely consistent with their behavior. They wholeheartedly embrace a Marxist movement aimed at destabilizing American society, they support the Chinese Communist Party in all that they do, and they make wildly contradictory statements on ‘rights’ and ‘discrimination’ whose only common theme seems to be the harm it does to the US. This makes complete sense if their goal is to further the communist takeover of America or at least destroy American freedom so that other countries can take over in the world.

  2. Hey, look on the bright side. At least the NBA is a meritocracy – one in which the most talented and skillful players are the ones who play (and get paid).

    Isn’t it odd that nobody is raising a stink about players of other races not being fairly represented among their ranks? (I’d insert a rolling eyes emoji here if I had an easy way to do so).

  3. The discussion of the phrase “not universally popular” called to mind this famous exchange:

    Marty: The last time Tap toured America, they where, uh, booked into 10,000 seat arenas, and 15,000 seat venues, and it seems that now, on their current tour they’re being booked into 1,200 seat arenas, 1,500 seat arenas, and uh I was just wondering, does this mean uh…the popularity of the group is waning?
    Ian: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no…no, no, not at all. I, I, I just think that the.. uh.. their appeal is becoming more selective.


  4. I look the irony, probably lost on Silver, of this statement:

    “We’re completely committed to standing for social justice and racial equality and that’s been the case going back decades.”

    Aren’t they kneeling?


  5. As an aside, what is Blessed Lebron going to do with all of those “I can’t breathe” tee shirts when the jury concludes that the officers didn’t kill St. George Floyd, that they didn’t apply lethal force to his neck, and that the likely cause of death was an overdose of fentanyl because his lungs were filling with liquid?


  6. Saw a recent comment that the NBA was doing their part for equality by bringing their viewership down to match that of the WNBA.

    In other “Color Me Not Really Surprised” sports news, contrast the coddling enablement of disruptive political behavior by certain sports figures as noted above, to this removal of a champion American cyclist from his team for merely admitting he’s a Trump supporter:

      • Sorry to step on it. I figured you weren’t using it and this would be a relevant spot to drop it in. I have no doubt that you can do a much more detailed and insightful analysis (That’s not entirely toadying; I can’t imagine myself producing your amount of engaging output. I worry about your health; rest up, pet the dog.)

        • No, this is always helpful.The current of the ethics river moves quickly, and important issues too often get left on the banks. Pointing at one as we rush by is greatly needed sometimes, as in this case.

    • The WNBA viewship is interesting – they are playing the SJW / racial justice angle every bit as hard as the NBA. Yet their ratings are WAY up. Mind you it’s up by a tiny fraction of what the NBA lost.

      I’d guess it’s popular among the SJW white women.

  7. Well, in the spirit of sustaining my non-violent non-silence, I’ll pick up here where I left off a few minutes ago with a comment in another thread about MLB, namely, that “they can just bite me.”

    The NBA can just suck its own undersized balls. And I dare them to try to bite me.

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