Ratings Say America Missed Non-Woke Basketball

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Last week, more viewers tuned into the NBA playoffs first round than at any time since 2014. Media personalities like Darren Rovell claim that this NBA rebound debunks OutKick’s coverage that the NBA had been in serious decline the past four seasons, when in fact it proves just how accurate we have been.

As we first guessed before the start of the playoffs, the NBA postseason surged in ratings because the on-court product regained superiority over the woke messaging that sank the NBA to record lows the last few years.

There’s no LeBron James this postseason to overshadow the game with his post-game comments and tweets about law enforcement and the state of the country. A painting in honor of the political organization Black Lives Matter is no longer on the court. And broadcast partners TNT and ESPN are not taking time away from the game to discuss the racial reckoning of the country.

And though the relationship between the NBA and China remains, it is not promoted during the tournament.

“It’s amazing how that works. You abandon the woke bullshit and fans reward you,” Clay Travis tweeted about the ratings.

A YouGov / Yahoo News poll found that nearly half of the country changed its sports viewing habits once political and social messaging began to spread across the NBA. The data says that three times as many Americans watched sports less often than those who watched them more often.

As Fox & Friends co-host Will Cain astutely observed to OutKick last year that Americans love basketball. They just don’t love woke basketball.

Based on the ratings, it seems as though a third of viewers abandoned the NBA during its woke phase but have since returned now that it’s over, indicating that they never stopped loving the league, just the constant social justice lecturing.

Some viewers are now seeing young stars like Ja Morant, Luka Dončić and Devin Booker for the first time. And they like what they see.

Not bad, huh?

So clearly unwoking works. Perhaps other brands that self-destructed in response to COVID and BLM will get the hint that Americans don’t like to be told they are racist, privileged, uninformed and maybe a bit transphobic.

Hope is not lost for award shows, late-night comedy, CNN, Hollywood, and Disney. Okay, maybe it’s too late for Disney. But there’s hope for the others.

The NBA decided to entertain its fans this postseason with actual basketball, not soapbox speeches about systemic racism. And it worked.

Who knew it could be that simple? Besides OutKick, of course.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest media topics as well as trending sports, cultural and political stories.

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcast and radio stations.

Previously, Burack was a writer at The Big Lead where he covered similar topics. He also hosted an eponymous podcast where he interviewed several personalities such as Joe Tessitore, and Adam Schefter.

One Comment

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  1. This article is COMPLETE BULLSHIT and I’m not going to let you get this off. Simple truth is, your Woke go Broke bullshit narrative was racist and weak as fuck to begin with. This has NOTHING to do with LeBron not being in the playoffs or Black Lives Matter not being in the court. That’s some fake ass AWM bullshit that played well for the Alt Right and Very Fine People but not basketball people. The rating don’t have shit to do with Conservatives or trying to comfort bitch ass feeling by wannabe Maga tough guys. The ratings for ALL SPORTS took a dip during the pandemic. Basketball is a global game played by the most popular and best endorsed athletes in all of sports. Maga , Conservatives and Very Fine People have NO POWER when it comes to basketball. See… Great TV ratings and packed arenas. It’s 2022 not 1922…. That bullshit era stopped 60 years ago it doesn’t work anymore . We know the truth and sports exposed conservative men.

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