Rachel Nichols Called Out The NBA To Stay Consistent On Social Issues And She’s Right

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ESPN’s Rachel Nichols made a statement last night that if the NBA wants to claim equality as its mission statement, then consistency should be key. She questioned how the league could pay tribute to fallen politicians and actors, but not be a pioneer for women’s rights.

She’s absolutely right. This is the same argument conservatives made when the NBA decided to turn its back on China.

If the NBA wants to be taken seriously, it has to remain vigilant on ALL acts of injustice here or overseas.

“If you are a league that holds equality as a core value, and I know for sure that this league does, the icons of that equality can’t be those who just helped the men that we all see on TV but those who paved the way for the women who worked right alongside them,” Nichols said. “After all, the NBA is significantly stronger because of all the women who work in it and around it. And we are all significantly stronger because a young lawyer dedicated her life to allow us to have those opportunities.”

Nichols recognizes the NBA is squandering an opportunity to build credibility with its audience. She understands commissioner Adam Silver can’t lead a coalition for human rights if Ruth Bader Ginsburg doesn’t make the cut for a tribute. So far, only a couple NBA accounts bothered tweeting about Ginsburg’s passing and that’s disappointing.

NBA players walked off the court to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake and crafted tributes for Congressman John Lewis, but a pioneer for women’s rights passes away and the NBA doesn’t have a word? The league’s silence was reminiscent of its backpedaling on China. Silver suggested how important human rights are to the league’s core mission, but conservatives rightly questioned, why not overseas?


What the NBA didn’t understand before they became social justice pioneers that there’s no right way to do this. If you make one mistake, that’s all it takes to be chastised in today’s social media climate. One misstep and that’s all the public needs to feel a message of “equality” was dampened.

Conservatives were right to use the NBA’s call for justice against them to push for fairness in China. Half the country was aware the league opened Pandora’s Box and couldn’t apply their “values” to all business ventures. Nichols usesdthat same NBA call for equality to make sure it’s equal for everybody.

The NBA wants to care about equality when it’s comfortable for them, but aren’t willing to keep that energy for all people. Men and women, overseas or not, should feel this league supporting them. That’s what the league signed up for when they went all in on social equality.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for OutKick.com, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr


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  1. Yup the league made life more difficult for itself by wanting to be about more than just the game. Maybe they don’t honor RBG because she criticized Kaepernick’s kneeling during national anthem

  2. How about standing up for our law enforcement who protect all of us instead of just the criminal types and the brutal chicoms and RBG since she brought her up lived a long life 87 years not so much for all the innocent babies aborted which she supported including late term i mean that’s gruesome stuff. Still waiting for the queen to answer the sheriffs call to donate to the reward fund for that lowlife POS that tried to assinnate our deputies one a mother with a young child. Good piece btw enjoyed the read.

  3. the red flag is that these dudes a) claim to care about issues b) find a left leaning political issue to care about and then claim that they are more than just players (possibly credible and valid) c) are very in tune with the left’s view of anything involving race because thats how they’ve been trained — MOST IMPORTANTLY D:) dont care/know about the current topic that’s making all political crazy people even more crazy which is all things surrounding RBG’s death and don’t understand why their party is so desperate right now…unless you are still in the playoffs, you have a self appointed/assigned obligation to dedicate your next tweet to RBG, and to learn about her life and work…good luck, i doubt they give a crap

  4. Gary, you made a great point. When the NBA embraced BLM they were doomed. They make BLM happy, but they crap on the police. They complain about the violation of human rights in America, but not in China, and it goes on and on. On every stance the NBA potentially alienates more and more fans. A leadership failure at every turn.

  5. Nichols said. “After all, the NBA is significantly stronger because of all the women who work in it and around it.”

    Really? If women want to NBA, fine. But do they make it “significantly stronger”? There’s not one woman who couldn’t be replaced tonight and the league wouldn’t miss a beat.

  6. Equality is about as possible as every team in the nba being equally good. the search for “equality” is a fruitless endeavor. We can create equal rights for all. Equal rights meaning that in the eyes of law we have the same protections. We can create a fair and free society. Fairness being you get what you earn and rightly deserve. But equality in the sense of equal outcome is a trap. A trap that will just be used to drive wedges and pit men against each other.

    • That’s it. If you’re going to signal your virtue in the name of one victim group, you must do it for all victim groups.
      But no China criticism means they are phonies, top to bottom.
      Even the BLM support is based on lies (acting as if resisting suspects are innocent civilians) and vague complaining (“systemic racism “). Many fans already have grown tired of being accused of things they never have done. The longer this persists, the more will walk away.

  7. I am still finding it difficult to figure how the NBA or all the other wokesters are going all in for “equality.” They are all in for the ersatz “police brutality” thing because that makes them appear to care.

    I call bullshit on that! Try checking the record on how the juries that heard the evidence in those overblown situations mostly found the officers not guilty, although it is never recognized by the media. The lives of the policemen are still ruined forever, even when found not guilty.

    I will believe that they care about equality when I see them donating their own money and personal time to help kids make it through their youth without being shot down by gangbangers or muscled into a life of drug addiction bypushers.

    I will believe they care about equality when they push back at Nike and the CCP until human rights are addressed in that country.

    I will believe they care about equality when they take the time to understand both sides of a situation before sticking their fingers in the air to see what the most popular position is.

  8. This is all identity politics smoke & mirrors. If Clarence Thomas were to pass tomorrow, would Rachel Nichols send out a similar tweet? Of course not…nor would the NBA comment on the matter. The players of the NBA are in support of one group. Not the cops tasked with policing high-crime black neighborhoods, and not with the innocent victims of mostly black on black gang crime. No…they are with the black criminals shot after resisting arrest and attacking the officers. Adam Silver & the NBA weasel owners lack the balls to tell the players “no” (because that would be racist, of course).

    The NBA will always have a niche market. But it is getting ready to get much smaller. RGB tribute or not.

  9. Um, Rachel, sweetie. The NBA is not stronger because of all the women in it. I’m not saying its weaker, but it definitely isn’t stronger. It’s weaker because of woke, racial flame fanning, entitled hypocrites who play and coach in the league (see James, Durant, Popovich, Kerr, Doc Rivers, etc..). I mean the NBA sucks. Women or no women. 45 3s a game, no real centers anymore, one on one, step back 40 footers. Look at the WNBA. All women with the exception of some coaches. And that league isnt stronger because of it! Trust me. Anyways, I’ve always had a thing for Rachel Nichols, and it definitely has to do with her NBA knowledge and journalistic integrity. Would love to spend an evening with Rachel dissecting Lakers/Nuggets series.

  10. Both games declined considerably from last year, with Game 2 down 63% in ratings and 60% in viewership from Blazers-Warriors on a Thursday night in May last year (4.7, 7.88M). Friday’s drop was not as severe, but ratings still fell 42% and viewership a third from last year’s Tuesday night opener (4.5, 7.32M)

    Read it over again Lebron’s inner circle

  11. This is why you stick to sports when you are a sports league. You can do damage to your league, your team, and yourselves (and sometimes, your causes). The first to go are always a percentage of the fans you’ve alienated. (You think you don’t need them, until you really need them…)

  12. I wonder if Nichols could cite RGB’s landmark dissents or conclusions on seminal Supreme Court decisions? It’s great that she called out the NBA but so what? Rest in power, RBG, blah, blah, blah…

    You could easily make the argument that new-age feminism is having a negative effect on women’s happiness.


    Oh, and let’s wait and see how much “women love strong women” when Trump’s SCOTUS pick, whoever she may be, gets shredded during the confirmation hearings.

  13. So basically what NBA players are saying is …Jewish men and women can pay exorbitant fees to watch us in Arenas across the country, and in Toronto ,but we are not going to honor one of yours . RBG was a prominent social justice leader as there ever was! ALL LIVES MATTER !

  14. Me i don’t care what your personal beliefs are stop acting like anyone cares what uninformed people think about anything out of their lane. I don’t go to outkick for the song of the day. I maybe wrong but i want to watch sports and movies for the entertainment not their opinions if i what opinions i will read until i make my own opinion. This is the 1st time since MNF has been on tv that I did not watch any of it. Thanks to the people from outkick to keep this real.

  15. Nice of Rachel Nichols to “call out the NBA” because they aren’t honoring a woman, and that only enhances the belief that she’s not smart enough (or cares at all) to look into what’s really going on with everything else– just something that promotes her own narrative. Weak. Give me someone who calls out Lebron for spreading false information and inciting violence, the farce that is BLM, and everything China and then I’ll be on board with you.

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