A bombshell report from inside the National Basketball Association (NBA) says that only 20% of the active roster is actually registered to vote. This comes on the heels of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) inspired protests and near cancellation of the NBA “restart” after a break due to the virus. NBA head coach and former player Doc Rivers was furious with current players in a closed-door meeting about the lack of voting.
News that nearly 4/5 of the NBA is not able to vote due to lack of registration is not necessarily shocking, but it does reveal a large amount of ignorance and hypocrisy.
History Mis-Repeating Itself
The NBA is no stranger to politically-motivated controversy. When Eric Garner died while being detained by NYPD a few years back, LeBron James and others wore “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts during warm-ups as a form of recognition. Many years before Eric Garner, there was an NBA player by the name of Mahmoud-Abdul Rauf (a.k.a. Chris Jackson).
Rauf was Kaepernick before Kaepernick. He staged his own silent “sitting” protest of the National Anthem. When the NBA disallowed sitting during the anthem, Rauf decided to stand in silent Islamic prayer. The antics proved to be too much for the league to tolerate and he was effectively blackballed from the league.
Former NBA Commissioner David Stern was at the helm during the Mahmoud-Abdul Rauf days. He did not tolerate insubordination from the players. Because the behavior of athletes on-the-court (and sometimes off-the-court) affects the NBA’s bottom line. But ever since the new commissioner Adam Silver took over, the NBA has been going downhill with short bursts of life that only serve to decelerate the decline.
Adam Silver may think that his decision to allow players to kneel during the National Anthem (which was expressly disallowed under Stern) is a righteous move, but the only thing it does is serve to undermine the league and the players themselves. Financial loss is now unavoidable, all over a thing that the vast majority of NBA players are not prepared to do the smallest thing about, such as voting.
Do It For The ‘Gram
Momentary acclaim on social media is not the equivalent to successful legislation passed. Nor will any legislation totally prevent illegal acts from happening. That’s if an illegal action even happens when a civilian dies at the hands of police, which is what NBA players are currently upset about. Instead of empty action that never yields any positive results, NBA basketball players should focus on becoming more educated themselves. Maybe then they can become truly positive and impactful members of society.