Some may wonder if the NBA now stands for No Brains Anymore or, perhaps, if the NBA has become an NPC. Whatever the quip, what sounds like a joke but isn’t is the latest National Basketball Association news:
When the league launches its abbreviated 2020 season July 30 in Orlando, it will allow players to replace their names on their jerseys with a “social justice statement.”
Yeah, I know, it sounds like the Wuhan virus is now affecting gray matter or maybe afflicts journalists with an irresistible desire to pen satire. Alas, no, this instead is yet another example of 2020 America’s truth being stranger than fiction, as a league that knelt for the Anthem now bows before asininity.
As CBS Boston reports, presenting a tweet from NBA insider Shams Charania:
“Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times added that the NBA is working with Nike to allow players to make changes to their jerseys if interested,” CBS also tells us.
ESPN, which itself has become the Entwining Sports with Politics Network, provides more detail, writing that “Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul, president of the National Basketball Players Association, told ESPN’s The Undefeated on Saturday that the players’ union and the league are collaborating to allow players to wear jerseys with personalized social justice, social cause or charity messages on the backs instead of their last names during the upcoming restart of the NBA season.”
Reacting to this, Red State’s Mike Miller wrote, “I’ll go out on a limb and predict that there will be exactly zero ‘charity messages’ on the backs of those Jerseys, come July 30.” Oh, Mike, you cynic you!
As for the rationale behind the move, Miller then quotes ESPN quoting Chris Paul. To wit: “We’re just trying to continue to shed light on the different social justice issues that guys around our league continue to talk about day in and day out. People are saying that social justice will be off of everybody’s mind in Orlando. With these jerseys, it doesn’t go away.” Like a stubborn cold, I guess.
“‘Shockingly,’ CNN anchor Ana Cabrera is all in on the name change,” Miller then writes, “suggesting that a number of players have been ‘concerned’ about resuming a game for which they’re paid millions of dollars becoming a distraction from the business at a hand: the ‘social justice movement.’”
Well, at least their priorities are straight.
And their thinking isn’t any straighter. Consider that Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin actually told the aforementioned Cabrera, “To be able to use your platform and your brand, the NBA, your team, to help bring the country together is something that a lot of people care deeply about.”
Yes, because nothing brings the country together like weighing in on contentious, hot-button issues that provoke rioting, looting, murder, and cancelled careers.
Even more comical (and sometimes insightful) were the Twitter responses under Charania’s tweet. A sampling:
"And I Can't Breathe makes the first of his 2 free throws. Rebound to Black Lives Matter. Oh he's boxed out by Jesus Was A Socialist. Coach IDGAF calls for a time out."— Sparkling Jules (@Coolish_Breeze) June 28, 2020
Nobody:— ???? ?? (@BryMontana) June 28, 2020
Pat Bev Jersey: “Crack Heads Matter” pic.twitter.com/eshbuQAcSD
Which player does All Lives Matter?— Jason Hassler (@jhassler80) June 28, 2020
What if someone wants “Make America Great Again” on their back? Will they be allowed to? Asking for a friend.— Da Commish (@commishy) June 28, 2020
"Black Lives Matter at the top of the key, passes to Black LIves Matter who drives from the shoulder, BLOCKED by Black Lives Matter!"— ?&? (@naloDsemaJ) June 28, 2020
Then, alluding to how the hypocritical NBA became the Neutered Basketball Association and groveled before China after a team general manager expressed support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters, one respondent wrote:
I can guarantee we won't see Free Hong Kong on anyone's jersey.— Eric Reyes (@seyerrice) June 28, 2020
(Yes, well, that would actually cost something. The league wants its value signaling on the cheap.)
But since the NBA has gone down this road, and since certain sentiments will be verboten, here are some Jacobin jersey ideas:
• Shoddy Chinese Goods Matter
• Soy’s My Joy: Cancel Low-T Shaming
• Diversity! Make the NBA 50% Female
• Rethink Veganism: Vegetables Don’t Commit Suicide
• Everything Offends Someone — Do Nothing
• No Blocking — I’m My Own Safe Space
Joking aside, there is, unfortunately, also a very dark aspect to NBA lunacy. It’s yet another example of the country having drifted so far left that even big business will risk alienating market elements by staking out “woke” positions. It does this in large part because political neutrality is now no longer acceptable, as the intolerant Left takes an “If you’re not with us, you’re against us — and must be destroyed” position.
Regardless, this political correctness is irritating enough that many people now hope NBA will soon stand for No Business Anymore.
(Hat tip: commentator Jack Kemp.)
Image: Augustas Cetkauskas/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Selwyn Duke (@SelwynDuke) has written for The New American for more than a decade. He has also written for The Hill, Observer, The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily, American Thinker, and many other print and online publications. In addition, he has contributed to college textbooks published by Gale-Cengage Learning, has appeared on television, and is a frequent guest on radio.