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NBA Players Trapped In BLM Cult Need Your Love, Not A Boycott

I’m not going to lie. Saturday I watched the Portland Trail Blazers-Memphis Grizzlies play-in game. It was fantastic. The Blazers won a 126-122 shootout, earning the right to face LeBron James and the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. 

The NBA Bubble, aka the And1 Black Lives Matter Tour, has greatly exceeded my low expectations. The Bubble is popping. The quality of competition and play is high. 

Today, Day 1 of the playoffs, feels a bit like the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, a gambler’s paradise. A four-game marathon kicks off at 1:30 pm ET and goes all night.  

Netflix would have to drop a documentary featuring Making a Murderer’s Steven Avery, Serial’s Adnan Syed, Tiger King’s Joe Exotic and The Wire’s Avon Barksdale as Leavenworth Prison cellmates to stop me from bingeing hoops today.

I know some of you don’t share my enthusiasm. I get it. 

The Bubble is a shrine to BLM, the divisive, anti-religion, Marxist-influenced movement tearing apart America. Black Lives Matter is painted on the court. Like brainwashed followers of David Koresh, players and coaches uniformly kneel/salute during the playing of the national anthem and warmup in T-shirts with the words Black Lives Matter across their chests. During the game, a majority of the players wear “social justice” slogans on the back of their jerseys.

You can’t escape the condescending preaching and finger-wagging, even during the commercial breaks. Professional athletes have decided they’re the enlightened human beings, the chosen ones, called on to end racism with BLM-approved racism.

LeBron James called Black Lives Matter a “lifestyle.” BLM is a political cult that functions as a religious cult. Its followers accept its narrative on faith born of anger, insecurity, fear, ignorance and groupthink.

I understand why many of you are reluctant to support the NBA. No sports league works harder to promote BLM than The Association. You hope that a boycott, television ratings decline and subsequent loss of revenue will awaken the league to the error of its ways. 

I’m not so sure. 

BLM is immune to market forces. The global economy combined with Big Tech to create a concentration of wealth that has curtailed capitalism’s ability to punish bad business practices. The billionaire backers of BLM can offset the financial losses of the institutions hurt by the movement. The NBA is not much different from the Washington Post, the legacy media platform funded by the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos. The Post does not need to adhere to long-established industry best practices. The Post is a spoke in the wheel of a much larger machine.

So is the NBA and the NFL.

I’m not telling you to watch the NBA playoffs. I’m warning you that a boycott and a significant dip in ratings may not produce the result you desire. It’s going to take more effort.

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BLM is a cult. If you want to save sports and save the freedoms we’ve long taken for granted here in America, you’re going to have to do the hard work of deprogramming athletes and others captured by Black Lives Matter. You can’t give up on athletes. Anger and hostility will backfire. They’ve been trained to believe that your anger and frustration are signs of racism or acceptance of systemic racism.

Athletes are people we’ve loved and admired for decades. Treat them like a family member who is thinking of joining Jim Jones in Guyana, South America. 

“Do everything you can to stay in touch,” Janja Lalich, a sociology professor who studies cults, told the New York Times in a 2018 story titled How to Get Someone Out of a Cult.  “If you’re trying to persuade someone to leave a cult supply reminders of the world beyond it by calling, emailing, writing letters, sending photographs and maybe visiting.”

The most effective thing sports fans can do is to respectfully engage with athletes via social media. Ask them smart, polite questions. 

Are you aware the founders of Black Lives Matter are self-admitted trained Marxists? Do you understand Karl Marx’s political theory and its hostility toward all religions? Do you understand why someone of religious faith would be reluctant to support a movement that appears hostile to religion?

Given the fact that Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend fired his gun first and struck a Louisville police officer, do you believe it would be extremely difficult for a Kentucky prosecutor to win a conviction against the officers who shot Taylor in the subsequent crossfire?

Violent crime rates are skyrocketing in the cities most demonstrably hostile toward police. Are you concerned that defunding the police will have a negative impact on poor communities? 

Don’t lace the questions with snark. These athletes are relatively young. They’ve been incentivized and rewarded for developing their physical abilities more than their intellectual abilities. I’ve been young and dumb. It’s not incurable. 

The people funding BLM want to provoke a cancellation war in sports and all walks of life. They want athletes and fans to hate each other. It’s tough to love pro athletes right now. They’ve joined a movement that violates all of sports’ traditional tenets. 

If you give up on the athletes, you’re handing the influence of sports completely over to the Marxists, anarchists, globalists, oligarchs and left-wing bigots. They’ll use that power to further divide us, destroy our freedoms and consolidate their power. 

I’m not saying you should watch the NBA playoffs. I’m saying don’t give up. Engage with athletes. Stay connected to them and their world. I’ll watch and tell you what you need to know about The Bubble.

If you want Jason Whitlock for your TV or radio show or podcast, contact gary@outkick.com.

Written by Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock is a longtime sports writer, TV personality, radio host, podcaster and the newest member of the Outkick family.
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80 Comments

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  1. I think that you hit the nail on the head with the line “You can’t escape the condescending preaching and finger-wagging, even during the commercial breaks.”

    Many of my friends and I that are lifetime sports fanatics are not tuning into NBA games and MLB games on national channels. Contrary to popular belief, however, this is not just because of our personal feelings about court slogans or anthem kneelers. Games broadcast on the national platforms are simply unwatchable products, as nearly the entire 3 hour show is filled with some sort of social justice preaching or coronavirus fearmongering. This extends to the announcing team, studio teams, player and coach interviews, and commercials.

    It’s become a completely unenjoyable experience, which is why I have been watching much more PGA golf than ever. The ratings seem to agree with me. I would be interested to see a comparison of ratings from national MLB broadcasts, which are filled with hours of preaching, to the local broadcasts, which I find to spend the majority of time focusing on the actual baseball games.

    • Sorry Jason have to disagree with you on this one they make a lot of money live in out of touch bubbles while I work hard to enjoy there product but they want let me just watch the game with no statements so I believe they deserve to be boycotted

    • #1 on avoiding the National Broadcasts, its as if every commercial is a public service announcement reminding us that black American’s are the most tormented people on earth and that we should all embrace working full time from home while also being the full time teacher for our kids. Ba da ba ba ba now enjoy some McDonalds with your social justice.

  2. Great piece as always. I’m not watching but it’s not necessarily a boycott. I just don’t enjoy it. But I don’t want to see it go away. Hopefully people continue to tune in and go to games once things open up. Economically all sports are good for their host cities. I might get to a point where I can look past the social commentary but for now I’m just trying to focus on things that I enjoy when I have a chance to relax.

  3. Sorry Jason this is the first article you have written that I disagree with. While I enjoy and understand your perspective as a Christian myself I understand to provide grace and love to others. However, I am still hurt and feel betrayed by sports that I used to love. The rampant hypocrisy and idol worship that is pushed has taken away the joy of watching team competition. It’s hard to sit their and take all the judging and finger wagging. I’d rather feel my cup with positive things. Sports has lost me for awhile I don’t want to be apart of such a destructive element. I’ll focus on hobbies and my family. Sports needs to earn back its fans who just enjoy competition and it’s awesome athletes of all genders and color.

    • Agreed. I am usually 100% on board with Jason’s articles. Not this one. I don’t think BLM supporters are capable of a reasonable conversation about what is wrong with that communist organization. It is too risky for many people to speak out about BLM on social media. We would be called racists and doxed. I engage people face to face, in fact I just had a heated, yet respectful conversation about this very topic (BLM being a Marxist/Communist organization) with a couple friends of mine. NBA is dead to me. As you say its too negative, and purposefully sows division.

    • I wouldn’t say I’m boycotting either. Taking a break though. I am not angry or bitter. Just choosing not to watch. I know I’ll eventually watch. I assume next season. It just feels weird watching knowing all of what you mentioned.

      • Hey Ross,
        I feel the same way you do…not boycotting…just not watching. I wouldn’t waste my energy with bitterness, like you.
        JLW: “They’ve been trained to believe that your anger and frustration are signs of racism or acceptance of systemic racism.”
        So we have to “prove the negative”…that we’re NOT racists? Seriously insulting.
        But this takes the cake: “Stay connected to them and their world.”
        Whoa…beam me up, Scotty.

  4. Huge Outkick fan! You and Clay are a breath of fresh air in a suffocating sea of over-biased journalism. I’ve had a problem with the NBA for years. But I have to say, I don’t think the biggest problem is the players, it’s the media. They give the players an open mic but refuse to hold them accountable or ask honest questions. Without the media over-reporting it, would anyone have really noticed Kaepernick kneeling in the first place? In most sports, pregame festivities (national anthem, announcement of starting lineups, etc.) aren’t usually aired live. But now, with no fans to take notice, the media makes sure to flood our screens with anthem protests and BLM messages. It’s a huge turn-off, especially when there are so many other sports to watch right now.

  5. I’m not sure if I totally agree with JW, but, as he does with at least 96% of his columns, he either speaks the truth or brings up interesting points.

    This is one of the interesting points ones.

    I’m firmly in the “f&^% them camp” and I won’t give a single dime or eyeball to them, but I’ve wondered how much difference that will make. JW brings up the WP, but you an pretty much bring up any left-wing news organization and you can find someone giving them some sort of financial support for them to stay in business.

    I’m not sure if JW’s prescription will work, but, as always with him, it’s worth reading and considering.

  6. Couldn’t you say the same thing about tuning out ESPN, Fox1 Sports? I believe that’s the reason for Outkick’s meteoric rise of late. I doubt there’s a chance the NBA is going to face stiff competition any time soon, but I quit watching the NBA years ago aside from the playoffs. It is boring and as you said, there is constant finger wagging and has been for several years before this current BLM explosion. If you’re on the fence, watch. I can’t see the fence anymore I’ve moved so far forward. They’re free to go to China.

  7. Jason I understand what your saying and I know its the high road but I’m still mad. I not only don’t watch Nascar anymore because of all the BLM pampering but I look up the TV ratings the next day and enjoy watching them sink to new lows. I want them to hurt. I want drivers to take pay cuts. I want sponsors to decline. I want all athletes to take pay cuts from this attack on the character of there own fans. I wount and can’t support them anymore not after the disrespect they showed to me as a fan. I’m not even running my fantasy football league this year after doing it for 16yrs. Maybe its my anger but I have gotten back into boxing. Boxing has always been about the underdog minority that fought his way to respect, The Irish, Italians, Black Americans, Mexicans, Porto Ricans, Tyson Fury is a Gypsy. These are all tough men that fight for there seat at the table. Nothing handed to them. Floyd Mayweather wasn’t cashing those big checks at 18yo. He had to fight and win for nearly 10yrs before he made big money. Until this all stops then my only lifeline to the bigger sports will be through Outkick which I Love.

  8. Sorry Jason have to disagree with you on this one they make a lot of money live in out of touch bubbles while I work hard to enjoy there product but they want let me just watch the game with no statements so I believe they deserve to be boycotted

  9. I think Jason’s message here is as spot on as any he’s written since joining Outkick. It’s okay to not watch, that will send the message to the owners and the league that they are a failing business and hopefully they find ways to improve their product. I have not taken NBA basketball serious for a while, and I used to love it. I miss the days where teams like the Pistons and Knicks could win with defense and no superstar. But that’s another debate.

    To Jason’s point, politely, intelligently questioning followers of BLM could be a game changer not only for sports but for America. The Leftist elites want Black Americans to feel hated by middle America, they want them to believe that their only shot at salvation are politicians like the Clintons and the Obamas. We need to show our fellow Americans they are welcome in our Churches and in our neighborhoods. We have all been young and dumb at some point and I guarantee you that someone showed you Grace (that which you do not deserve) to help you improve.

  10. Jason, I am a huge fan but I disagree on this one. Boycotts do work. Look at what they have achieved for the left. Poor ratings and boos will drive change. I am boycotting basketball and baseball including the Celtics and the Red Sox. I cancelled my MLB and NBA packages. The Red Sox have BLM all over Fenway Park and on the entire outside of the left field wall. MLS players stayed in the locker room during the national anthem instead of kneeling after being booed for kneeling. I am OK if the players want to stay in the locker room. I prefer that to kneeling. The MLS players also criticized the fans who booed them . This shows their contempt for anyone who does not agree with them. I believe not showing up, not watching and booing kneeling players when you do go will help slow down this train at the very least.

  11. I quit the NBA when the Hawks got swept by the Cavs in the 2015-16 playoffs “cuz ‘Bron-Bron”. I’m not interested in a sport that doesn’t require smart team building to dominate. Wanna win? A superstar is required. That’s what got the raptors from a perennial disappointment that always laid eggs at home to winning their first title. If that’s not enough, i.e. Lebron in LA then just go get another superstar- AD! And what the Chinese Basketball Association is doing now is not bringing me back.

    • You’re probably a younger guy, but I’m 45 so I can say pretty confidently the NBA no longer cares about my business. They are targeting Millennials and Gen Z, The only 40+ adults I know that watch the NBA do so because they live in a metro area and their company buys tickets or a suite there. Or they are one of those FM sports radio guys/gals that has to pretend to like it to keep their $22,000 per year radio gig.

      When they started setting up DJ Jazzy flash to spin records courtside during the game, that was it for me.

  12. Jason your my guy but i am not watching i don’t think of it as a boycott it’s just a product i no longer want or enjoy i find the game pretty boring to be honest someone drives the hoop and they all step aside and become spectators no defense at all. The political messaging is a huge turn off as well we get that everywhere else so will just let the market decide if they want to support or not.

    • Most writers/pundits you can predict their position to a T. It’s not interesting.

      Thanks for making me think about this. In the end I think there needs to be some reality check for the league. Something to pop their bubble. Fans en masse deciding not to give their time and money to an organization that apparently resents them is I think a reasonable and effective way to get the message out that many are not on board with the new dogma. Especially when it requires having politics invade every last inch of American culture. Sports used to be a common ground.

      I take your point though about keeping people in the loop, trying to persuade, rather than shun. But there’s just no way for me as an individual to connect with an nba player right now. You have convinced me at least to keep an open mind for the future.

    • Jason, I love your work, but I also have to disagree with you on this one. You mention reaching out to these athletes via social media. Social media is the issue. I used to have a twitter account but quickly realized that it was not for me. I seriously doubt, that if I got back on and sent respectful questions, with my 30 or so followers, to these young athletes, that it would have any traction. I just don’t have that kind of power. That’s why I’m an Outkick VIP. I gave my support and hard earned dollars to Outkick so that You and Clay can use your platform to fight for the values I believe in. Outkick is my Twitter. If you want to watch the NBA, that’s fine, I’ll respectfully bow out. Just promise that you’ll keep your foot on the gas and keep reaching out to these young athletes about what the BLM organization is really all about.

  13. Jason, I hear your point about not being angry with the players (love begets love as you have previously said). In truth, I’ve never been angry with them. It’s more that I’m at a loss for words at their blind support for BLM. I mean, in Portland, I’ve seen (through Andy Ngo, Tim Poole, scoontv’s twitter, etc) BLM activists shoot fireworks at law enforcement, BLM activists dump paint on older women, BLM activists set buildings on fire, BLM activists burn bibles, and BLM activists burn severed pigs heads. I don’t see what this has to do with actual black lives. (I am afraid of what is happening more than I am angry, but I won’t let my fear overcome me)…………… And Jason, as one final point, while I greatly appreciate hearing your point of view, for my friends and I the NBA is the easiest sport to give up. The product is not the same as in years past. Games largely consist of a “star” holding onto the ball at 3-point line. They dribble away the clock then either drive and draw a foul or chuck up a three. The refs determine who wins and loses with calls in last 2 minutes. It’s as real to me as Pro-Wrestling.

  14. Jason, I love your writing, and mostly agree with your takes, but I’m going to pass on the NBA playoffs and for that matter the NFL too, if this lunacy of the far woke left continues to permeate these leagues. I have zero desire to try and communicate with the athletes who I know have even less desire to hear from me. I’m literally and figuratively “white noise” to them.

  15. I’m not boycotting but I’m definitely not making it a priority to tune in to any games. Spurs fan for 21 years and the Duncan/Parker/Ginobili era is over. Don’t have a horse in the race any longer. I’ll watch to watch LeBron lose tho.

  16. Great article Jason, however I was out on the NBA long before BLM. I was a Knicks fan when I watched the Association, die hard. the late 80s and 90s at the Garden in Spring was magic, I will never forget that feeling. When they stopped playing defense. letting players get rebounds to pad numbers, going out for post game dinners with foes. I was out! Give me 87-86 Heat Knicks with two bench clearers. Enjoy the playoffs.

  17. Jason, you have made some excellent points. It’s clear to me that you truly are a man of faith because you want us to approach this difficult issue with love and not anger. I also want you to know that no one agrees with anyone all of the time, but I’d like to think that I speak on behalf of most of the commenters when I say that even when we disagree with you, we still respect the heck out of you and the fact that you always present your position in a clear, truthful and rationale way

    Mark

  18. I love your writing Jason. I’m not going to try to change peoples mines about BLM. I just arm my self with Facts. I do think you should stand for the ANTHEM but I’m not going to let it destroy sport for me. NBA Basketball player are a joke with backing BLM AND TAKEING MONEY FROM CHINA .How can you take them seriously. It all political the player don’t believe what there saying. Just like the song that Bob Dylan wrote about the man that shot Megger Everetts being a pawn in the game.That is the NBA player.
    NFL player even a bigger Joke . If Drew Brees take a knee what a phony . NFL players supporting BLM are just a pawns in the game. HOW about this just SHUT UP AND DRIBBLE OR THROW THE BALL

  19. This is the only site that I feel even remotely comfortable expressing my opinion regarding the BLM movement/cult. The occupation I’m in does not lend itself to appearing on YouTube in a compromised position arguing with snarky 30 year old’s still living at home whose main goal is to make it to Starbucks by 10 am, but here goes:
    Agree with most of the comments above. With the members of BLM, there is no room for disagreement. Hard to differentiate between what the Muslim extremist expect and the demands of the BLM. While I’ll admit that the BLM movement does not yet participate in be-headings, they will unleash a tidal wave of cancel culture that most are not prepared to face. Facing possible job loss and a ton of cash to confront this onslaught is not something I would be able to endure. Those in management and in a position to make hiring/firing decision are white, guilt ridden, ball-less pukes who don’t have the intestinal fortitude to stick up for any ideal that goes against the grain.

    Guys like Popovich who gleefully spreed lies “hands up, don’t shoot” are capable of anything. He’s not alone, since going along is sooooo much easier then standing up for what you believe. How people live with themselves is unbelievable, yet here we are.
    I don’t care enough to boycott the NBA or the NFL for that matter. I just simply have stopped watching and have no plans to return. A boycott seems to imply that once something changes folks will lift it and come back to the fold. I”m over, done, stick a fork in it I”m finito with most pro sports.
    If Time Tebow can’t kneel for a God and for the principles this country was built on, but BLM can, how anyone support this???

  20. I will agree that the majority of these athletes are not up to speed and basically ignorant of what ‘s really going on. Many are teenagers and early 20’s knuckleheads (talk to a teen or remember your teens?) However I will hold Adam Silver, Roger Goddell, Rob Manfred , Kerr. Popovich, Doc Rivers, whoever, responsible for these lies and propaganda. I will continue to avoid these leagues with my time and money. You may be correct in the short run that China, Big Tech, and Globalists can keep them afloat despite the many “me’s”of the country. But in 1980 nobody would have predicted that the Soviet Union would be gone in a decade! Don’t be surprised if we find that “Red ” China and their Globalist buddies foundations are built on quicksand. Iran for instance , has taken a standing 8 count. HOW BIG IS THIS ELECTION. I have faith that the folks are pissed!

  21. Ya….no. Sorry but watching validates them and their actions. Let them have their small little audience of cult followers who lap up the BS they spew, I can live my life just fine never watching another NBA game tbh. Its nowhere near as good a game now as it was in the Jordan era or even the Shaq/Kobe era.

  22. I hear ya Jason, but I don’t think talking sense to these athletes will work.

    Indeed, we were all “young and dumb” as you say. But here’s the thing, most of us were snapped out of it when reality hit us in the face. LeBron will never have that moment AND the mainstream media and social media will only amplify his faith in his supposed wisdom.

    Think about it, he would have to (1) come to the realization that all the glorification and elevation of his opinions by social media was in fact not real, (2) put in the hard work to understand these nuanced and complex issues, and (3) come to understand that his opinion was wrong.

    Zero shot that’s happening.

    • Lebron is a follower, not a leader. So it is possible to at least minimize his foolishness. For every 1 Lebron there are a hundred average players who can still be salvaged from the cult of celebrity.

      I had an epiphany a few years ago watching the film Unbroken. The film tells the story of Louie Zamperini who was a world class runner that became a POW in Japan, and was brutalized by his captors. The Real life Louie Zamperini was not 100% happy with the film because he is a devout Christian and credits his faith for helping him survive the war and to ultimately forgive his abusers. However the film was directed by Brangelina Jolie, and she just couldn’t stomach all that Christianity stuff, so she instead made the film about the triumph of the individual. I got the feeling watching it that she and Brad like most of Hollywood worship themselves, and consider themselves to be super human, thanks to this pitiful celebrity obsessed culture. Lebron is no different, which leads him to do idiotic things like claim someone spray painted racist things on his mansion gate when he knows and everyone else knows it never happened.

  23. I tuned out of watching the NBA. I was a life long Lakers fan and remember growing up and watching the games with my dad on tape delay…..incredible Finals series of Lakers-Celtics, Lakers-Sixers, incredible competition and hard fought play.

    I have tuned out the NBA for a couple reasons: (1) the NBA and it’s players and coaches, most notable Lebron, Kerr, Popp, have made it clear they have personal contempt for anyone who does not buy into their lies regarding the BLM organization and Lebron has made it clear that he doesn’t want any Trump supporters watching. So if the employees of an organization, not only don’t care if you consume their product, but they also have personal contempt for consumers with certain political views and are gleeful to have those consumers not view their product….then why would I watch? I’ve never been into boycotts and will not engage in those. However, as a consumer, when a business is openly disdainful of anyone who dare not fit their exact political ideology and openly gleeful to chase away consumers, then I will not consumer their product.

    (2) The NBA organization from Adam Silver, the owners, and on down, has demonstrably shown clear hypocrisy when it comes to human rights violations.

    (3) And perhaps the most important reason the NBA has so turned me off….if they supposedly care about black lives, then why not speak up about the issues that really matter; such as fathers abandoning their parental responsibility, public schools systems such as Baltimore where not one kid is proficient in math nor reading at grade level, and the black on black violence that we see every week in Chicago and other cities. The NBA has shown themselves to be a total fraud. Because talking about, and working on issues that really do affect black communities would take hard work. But instead, the NBA just engages in ridiculous slogans and social justice crap that doesn’t accomplish anything other than stoking racial divides.

    Jason, I love all your articles and last week I became a VIP member. Thank you to you and Clay for all of your great content. I respectfully wanted to offer some additional perspectives for why I tuned out of the NBA.

    • English Premier League!
      – No Commercials, 45 mins of play, followed by another 45 minutes of play
      – 9 Month long season, off season filled with friendlies (scrimmages) and International play
      – Very little politics, they briefly nod to BLM before the matches to keep the media wolves at bay, hopefully that ends this season.

  24. I agree with many of these comments and certainly understand where they come from. I too can not stand BLM. However, as a sports fan it’s damn near impossible for me to not watch the Playoffs.

    Well written, Jason.

  25. Jason, I agree that an attitude of anger and hostility will not help us. Like you say, this culture war will not be easy. In fact, by reading all of your past columns I had already changed my own approach in discussing issues with people. I have even asked questions along the lines of the ones you suggested in this column. And rather than getting angry at people who say we need to “defund” the police, I say that while I respect their opinion, I cannot help my gut feeling that it is scary we might end up like Portland if we defund the police. I think that this approach has even helped me convince some “leftists” to take a second look at issues. (But what I cannot understand, is why people like Stan Van Gundy have so much hate and are quick to label people. Does he not understand that some of us who don’t live in gated mansions will have safety concerns if police are defunded?)…..So although I am not watching the NBA, it is not a “boycott”, but simply because I have grown tired of listening to people like Van Gundy who label everyone who disagrees with them as a racist.

  26. I normally agree with you Jason but I can’t agree with this article. If any of these players feel trapped in the BLM Bubble they can get an audience any time they want with the press or social media to declare their disagreement. Lower ratings & salaries may get their attention because nothing else seems to.

  27. Great piece, Jason. However, I believe the NBA’s China problem is going to be a cloud over the league and their revenues going forward. Pressure from a new alt-left (liberals, but without the hypocrisy) will likely emerge and put pressure on the league for its double-standard policies…until even weasel corporate CEO’s start to take notice.

    I’m avoiding the BLM bubblefest, but if someone wants to watch it, all power to them. Someone at work told me they were going home to watch the game tonight…I didn’t preach, I just told them I haven’t had time to keep up, and to enjoy the game. Notice there are no protests outside the Orlando bubble. Only the left wants things they don’t like to be banned or cancelled.

  28. Jason. As always a great piece of writing put out. The NBA has gone from a “smaller” brand next to the NFL and continued to shrink down. You are losing watchers. If they follow the paper towel “Brawny” they are going to be an absolute complete crap show. No one (even the die hard libs) don’t like this BLM stuff. Why is LeBron thought of as a sage? He’s really good at basketball. Kinda dumb otherwise. I can’t believe I actually feel bad for 1/2 way to billionaire Bron but I do. Not all that smart. I’m sorry to say.

  29. Unfortunately, there is no access for honest journalism to confront the NBA players on the results of their causes. Even before the bubble, journalists were carrying the NBA’s water. The truth of the matter is these athletes (and most of us) can live in their blissful echo chambers unmolested forever. Perhaps a little TMZ style journalism is needed with these athletes. Hit’em up with questions on their way into Starbucks.

  30. This one caught me off guard a little. And I admit I’m a little disappointed and surprised by your position. But I do respect your opinion. I’ve considered your position in trying to justify watching these sports. I just cant do it. No matter how much money these guys make and the leagues make, they want viewers and they want people in the stands. No fans in the stands and no watching on TV would make these players and leagues reconsider their position a lot more than continuing to engage in their racist, separatist, anti-American, anti-police bull shit by watching and supporting them.
    They’re being pretty ballsy right now with no fans allowed. We’ll see how it plays out next season and in years to come. The leagues and players it seems have boxed themselves into a corner with this BLM shit. Hard to take it back now. I don’t watch these games or ESPN anymore. I was a big sports fan for over 40 years. And I dont miss it. I’ve taken up OUTKICK and reading more books. And Tucker Carlson and Larry Elder. They (the leagues and players) have plenty of opportunities and platforms to support a racist, Marxist organization like BLM. Didn’t have to do it on the fields and in arenas. I should have stopped watching the NFL when the Rams came out with their Hands Up Dont Shoot shirts. That was a lie. As the great and wise Jeffrey Spicolli once said to Mr. Hand, If you’re here and I’m here, doesn’t that make it, our time.” Keep up the great work. You guys with Outkick are killing it. Oh yeah, and Greg Popovich and Steve Kerr can f-ck off. Those are about the two most smug cock suckers I’ve ever seen. Worse than any players.

  31. Jason, you can not fund stupid professional sport leagues! BLM is not a cult it’s a anti- America Anti Law and Order terrorist group!

    What’s going on in Portland needs equal attention and out cry by the same dummies who think Michael Brown was shot and killed while his hands were up. Not because he robbed a bodega and was stopped by a cop based on a 911 call by the store owner!

    When confronted by the Cop Brown tried to take his gun and broke his eye socket.

    And after regrouping and ordering Brown to stop Brown decided to bull rush the Cop so based on his size the Officer who was already injured he rightfully shot Michael Brown.

    When they the NBA, NFL, MLB take down the BLM markings they may get my viewership and patronage back!

    Watching Sports now is funding them and condoning everyone’s stupidity!

  32. Let’s get real. We don’t have any meaningful way to “engage” with these athletes other than to stare at them on TV or buy their merch. Looking past all the BLM bullshit and the terror it endorses nightly to rationalize watching basketball is weak. The league and its stars, large and small, don’t give a rats ass about the purity of the game or they wouldn’t be bastardizing the experience by publicly condoning the actions of a domestic terror organization. They’ve made their bed, so let them lay in it. Ditto for the NFL. Enough with the new-age parenting, actions have consequences.

  33. Remember when sports used to be a unifying endeavor. I once heard someone talk about football in this way. On Friday nights, towns come together to cheer on their high school. On Saturdays, the rivals from the night before come together as fans to cheer on their favorite college team. And finally on Sundays, those rivals from Saturday, come together to cheer on their favorite professional team. I’ve high fived people at sporting events without a care in the world as to that person’s Race, Gender, religion, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. Sports used to be a unifier. These athletes call Trump a divider. They need to look in the mirror.

  34. A very good article. My first commentary as a VIP and a big fan of Jason for some time. I agree with what you say but the average fan doesn’t have the platform or the opportunity to ask these questions. The NBA has shown no sign to reach out to the broad base of fans to have a forum. So we are stuck with only 1 vote and that is our viewing. It hurts to turn off sports after decades. It hurts to be called racists because you don’t support that movement so it’s best to just shut it off. The rise of Outkick should be noted that you have a fan base and maybe could put together a forum from all walks of life to be heard from the leaders of these leagues, maybe. When I have seen some of a game and the BLM is plastered in my face, I just turn it off.

  35. Jason –

    My life is JUST FINE without the NBA and the NFL…

    In fact, I’m spending a lot more time exploring golf, history and BBQ (!!!) and not spending one moment watching this insulting, condescending charade on TV…

    As Coach Wooden said… (paraphrased)…
    “They’re incredible athletes, but I’m not sure what game they’re playing, because it sure isn’t basketball.”

  36. Jason, the real challenge for the NBA comes when these players leave their bubble and the next season starts with fans in the arenas.

    First, how are they going to replace lost revenues from people not attending the games? Who in their right mind would throw down a huge chunk of money for players that support an organization that despises their core values? Let’s assume that NBA fans are split just like the country is…50/50…so they have insulted/ticked off half their base.

    Second…the MLS players were furious when they were booed…what is going to be the reaction from these thin skinned players if or when that happens?

    Third…by siding with BLM, they are really destroying their work environment…will anyone want to venture downtown where a majority of the arenas are located to attend a game with defunded police forces? Portland…anyone?

    The death of George Floyd was sad and tragic…everyone was with the black community to take steps forward…then the riots/looting/destruction took place…poof! Good feeling gone…

    We all want black lives to matter, we just don’t want BLM. Until the NBA can distance themselves from the organization…I am out…by the way, NFL, are you listening?

  37. I agree with you that we should engage athletes on these issues respectfully. I do not agree that we should keep supporting their business in the meantime. Our eyeballs on their product, or lack of them, matter. They mean big money in advertising revenue, or not. I believe we need to send an unmistakable message via lower ratings and revenue to the players, coaches, executives and owners. Wokeness is bad for business.

  38. The big problem is trying to find a BLM supporter that wants to have a “reasonable conversation” about the whole situation. They seem to only want to scream the demands of the movement and use them to justify violence, not a two way conversation.

  39. Well said, Jason. It’s hard to shake the anger toward people who make you hate what you loved. Growing up in awe of Wilt Chamberlain, being impressed by the winning attitudes of Bill Cosby, Bill Russell and the teamwork of all the Boston Celtics, watching slack jawed as Julius Erving soared, being star struck at the talent, tenacity & killer instinct of Michael Jordan. Loving the confidence and talents of the outsized all rounder Larry Bird. Magic! Kareem who came to know we loved him. Keep up the good work!

  40. I will first say that it’s no surprise that the athletes of the NBA have been indoctrinated into the vortex of the social justice cult. From a very young age, they’re now being ‘professionalized’, having to specialize as basketball players and getting sucked into the AAU circuit, essentially leaving behind any kind of formal education outside of the bare minimum. They’re discouraged from a very young age from thinking critically. Instead, it’s all about checking off boxes so that they can get back to making money for Nike and Adidas. When they get to college, if they do actually go to class (*cough cough, UNC, and pretty much all of the other major D-I programs that just haven’t been caught yet*), it’s a steady diet of identity studies classes, where rational thought is a concept invented by ‘white supremacists’ in an effort to keep you on the plantation. I’m guessing you can eventually break through to some of them, as Mr. Whitlock says, but it’s a serious challenge for sure. I know I don’t have the time to devote to that.

    As far as actually watching the NBA, my formative years, like the rest of GenX, were spent watching Magic/Bird and then MJ (my Dad was a Lakers guy, I was a Celtics guy, and then everyone became an MJ guy). The common denominator between everyone was the intense competition and focus on winning. Look at the ratings for ‘The Last Dance’, a documentary that anyone could watch on-demand or on Netflix, and then look at the ratings for when the NBA returned. People were more interested in watching old footage then watching the current crop of competitors. I see many factors at play here:
    * MJ was always a bit of an enigma, as were a lot of the athletes back then. Now, they all have social media accounts and are pounding on them seemingly all of the time. There’s no intrigue behind these guys at all anymore.
    * Talent dilution: the guys are obviously more athletic and arguably talented than ever, but they’re spread out among so many teams now. Used to be that there were 5 or 6 teams that were watchable, out of the 23 teams in the league. Now it’s 5 or 6 out of 30.
    * The politics of it has got to be huge. I have a young family, so I just don’t watch as much sports in general than I used to, but I’m not eager to tune in to athletes who will make more money playing in one game than I will all year. Now add in preaching to me about how unfair the world is and how my ‘silence is violence’ and I’m the privileged one due to the low melanin levels in my epidermis, and you’ve lost me, possibly for good. The bandwidth I do have is now strictly focused on the NHL.

  41. Jason, I adore your message, and I hope it works for some people. I will tell you I have first-hand knowledge of a commenter respectfully questioning the Breonna Taylor situation on a famous athlete’s IG post and getting berated in responding comments. The “likes” on this particular comment did tell a different story… a story of people who agree, but aren’t willing to speak for fear of receiving the same retaliation as the original commenter. I’ve tried this method in the past as well (before BLM gained so much traction), and I had a similar experience. I’m pretty resilient, but it was tough to see some of the responses to my comment–a comment that I didn’t think was controversial.

    I would love to have respectful conversations more frequently, but we all know we’ve reached a point where that’s not likely to happen in most cases.I will never be an a-hole, but I choose to have open dialogue with those who invite it. I believe we are in a place where the BLMers of the world have to come to the truth on their own. Because they want to. Not because they are forced to question their beliefs by someone they deem “ignorant”. It’s like giving unsolicited advice, and it often backfires. Unfortunately, people have to choose to be “awake”.

    As for the NBA, I couldn’t care less. I stopped watching long ago, and I think we must show our displeasure in some way. But, as a fellow Christian, I agree that we should care about the souls of these people, and we should have compassion (however difficult it may be). They aren’t all evil… just misguided. For that reason, I hope you keep fighting the good fight!

  42. Jason, I totally get your premise. I was “young and dumb” in my past as well. There are two major problems for me regarding the NBA. I was already having a difficult time dealing with the league’s China hypocrisy. The decision to go “in your face” with BLM made the games unwatchable for me.

  43. Excellent article and comments; I always feel better reading Outkick, knowing there are critical thinkers out there and folks like JW that display courage daily.

    How ironic (what isn’t these days), for those who hate the haters (which is not what I’m seeing from most Outkick VIPs, which again heartens me), and I think that is Jason’s main point.

    Two of my children are misguided in supporting BLM, but I know an emotional response to this will not help. I will engage in civil discourse, helping them to apply logic, and they will come around.

    Division wins, the real forces against us know it, so don’t watch but still engage (through Outkick, other sports forums, when you get your 15 mins, etc). I believe It’s more important we fight for America then hate the haters. This was President Lincolns approach, and these forces seem hell bent on another civil war.

  44. Fortunately, Jason is human after all.
    Hhmmmmmm….
    Cuz this time you’re wrong. DEAD wrong.
    Bezos and the Universe Masters can keep propping up
    the Cultists from here to the end of time……+ a light year.

    All WITHOUT me and the majority here; that has permanently pulled the plug on these fools till
    the end of time…..+ a light year.

    Still love ya Bro….

  45. Jason decided to “mull-over” your column and came to the same conclusion – tough to support a league and its players who truly think ONLY of themselves. I gave up on the NBA a few years back when the level of play just wasn’t what it once was. The three-pointer to me started my disinterest, but BLM and the NBA management put the nail in the coffin. I cannot ever imagine going back to watch or support the NBA ever again. My “boycott” is a permanent one!

    • I didn’t boycott. I just stopped caring.
      These guys only ‘shut up and dribble’ when it’s convenient to them. So – I’ve simply turned it off. Kobe was the last guy who actually played. I loved his Detail show. It was NEVER politics. It was purely game.

  46. JW – great commentary. The only problem is that the ‘players’ couldn’t give a flying fig about my concern for them. There is NO question I could ever ask that would possibly stimulate their thinking. ‘Practice – what practice’. These guys live their their world. The rest of us live in ours. $$$ governs their choices and us common folk will NEVER get past their turnstiles.
    Keep up the fight – you do cause us in ‘stowage’ to be able to talk about things.

  47. Jason, good article…..but I think you missed a critical point. The BLM movement is all based around a flat out set of lies. It’s a cult for sure. I don’t think the NBA will miss me this playoff season and next. The best thing this country could do is have a good honest debate on the real world issues, not the ones created by organizations or the media. I will sadly also be boycotting the NFL this year and probably for good. Does that make me racist? I don’t think so, it’s a first amendment right.

    My parents taught me that throwing a tantrum (like woke culture does) needs to be ignored and the crying child will eventually stop. I agree we need to engage more and people who possess a great platform should listen first to all and compromise more to keep people engaged in positive conversations.

    • The tantrum child is evidence of poor parenting. The tantrum child is ill equipped to deal with his problems and needs stability from a parent. The tantrum only comes when the parent abdicates their responsibility to provide balance, direction and discipline.
      Same with the Association.

  48. Jason, your contributions to the country at large are beyond critical. With that said, LeBron James cuts off 1/2 at the very least of his potential audience every time his hole is opened. When your product is boring and you come hard with America is racist, you’re pretty much sealed it. No one wants to see anyone fail but the NBA is such an over the top America blows, get in line with us or we hate you organization that you tune out. You want the best for everyone but like an unhinged girlfriend you kinda have to move on.

  49. If I wanted to be subjected to social justice preaching by entitled, ignorant, spoiled people for 3 hours, I’d have watched MSNBC/CNN. NO THANKS, Jason. But I like your idea of engaging them with polite but challenging questions, even if they just ignore the questions which is likely the case.

  50. Jason, This economy has been propped up by additional money delivered to the unemployed. That can’t continue. When the full effect of destroyed business is felt, it will be devastating to our economy. Add to that, the oppressive government reaction to business doing business during this virus and we will have an unbelievably huge number not producing anything to build our economy. The small businesses that have and will perish will grow and so will the majority of folks’ disdain for people that are eating good. No matter their athletic skill. That is my opinion. Does not mean I am right.

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