NBA franchise the Orlando Magic has found itself in hot water recently after it came to light that the team made a donation to a PAC supporting Ron DeSantis for president.
While the donation isn’t illegal or even unethical, the press has latched onto the revelation to heavily promote it as proof that the team is not in line with the NBA’s promotions of left-wing viewpoints, including on racial and transgender matters. Of course, as you’d expect, it’s more complicated than that.
One of the left’s chief cancel culture artists, Jedd Legum jumped on the case, spending Wednesday evening tweet-storming about it.
Major media outlets are also making their move. The New York Times wrote an extensive piece framing the donation as a direct contradiction with the NBA’s social justice goals.
The message is clear. There will be no dissenting viewpoints.
The donation was also a reminder that for all of the N.B.A.’s professions of support for progressive causes that its players believe in, several billionaire team owners — whose interests Silver represents — have deployed their own power to fight those very causes. League spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement, “Team governors make their own decisions on the political contributions they make and we respect the right of members of the N.B.A. family to express their political views.”
Owners like Dan Gilbert (Cleveland Cavaliers), Tilman Fertitta (Houston Rockets) James Dolan (Knicks) and the DeVos family have donated large sums to Republican politicians who oppose abortion rights, gun control, voting rights and police reform — all issues the N.B.A. has supported, either in public statements or through its Social Justice coalition.
Instead of attacking owners for having basic freedoms, including the right to donate to political candidates of their choosing, perhaps the NBA should decide what it actually wants to be. Is it a basketball league that puts a superior product on the floor? Or is it a “social justice coalition” that seeks to cram down far-left viewpoints on unsuspecting sports fans? Because it can’t really be both and still claim to be an entity that is welcoming to all comers.
The vast majority of people who watch sports don’t want politics overtaking their experiences. Sports is supposed to be an escape. It’s supposed to be something people of varying backgrounds and beliefs can unify around, high-fiving the person next to you without any care for whether they support abortion or believe America is systemically racist. Out of all the sports leagues, the NBA has gone to farthest to purposely politicize itself, and it’s deservedly suffered as a result.
Moving on to another example, Donald Trump’s top campaign adviser also joined the cancellation attempt with a post prompting Magic players to react negatively to the donation.
I wonder what Magic players will have to say about their team giving $50K to Ron DeSanctimonious’ PAC given his new Florida history curriculum. 👀 https://t.co/aU8GlPhHnO
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) August 1, 2023
Given there’s nothing wrong with Florida’s history curriculum, Miller’s post seems rather stupid and dishonest, but that’s to be expected from a guy with his history (and I’ll just leave it at that). Once again, the worst part about Donald Trump is the people he surrounds himself with, but I digress.
To this point, Magic players haven’t actually spoken out, and hopefully, it stays that way. Turning this into a further controversy would be a complete waste of time. Owners of NBA teams can give to whoever they want, and rest assured, plenty of owners give to Democrats.
Lastly, while the implication is that giving to DeSantis is some kind of betrayal of basic human rights, nothing the Florida governor has done has matched that description. It is not a human right to mutilate children under the guise of transgender ideology nor is it a human right to have pornography in schools. When you take a step back, so much of what DeSantis has done boils down to common sense. Perhaps the cancellation attempts should be pointed in the other direction.