Report: Some NBA Owners Weren't in Favor of BLM on Courts in Orlando

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2020

Brooklyn Nets' Lance Thomas, second from left, gestures as he and teammates kneel in honor of the Black Lives Matter movement prior to an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Some NBA owners were reportedly against the league putting "Black Lives Matter" on the court for the Orlando restart.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said on his podcast (around 25:40) that Adam Silver played a large part in getting ownership on message:

"Not every owner in the NBA was enthusiastic about having 'Black Lives Matter' on the court. I know they all weren't. Some are extremely supportive. Some less so. None of them publicly [critical].

"But I do know Adam Silver told them, 'Hey guys, this is what we're going to do to support our players. Our league is overwhelmingly comprised of African American players. This is important. This is a partnership. We need to work together to get through this season and into next year. I'll be curious how the relationship and partnership goes forward."

The league pledged $300 million over 10 years to social justice causes and allowed players to wear approved phrases on the back of their jerseys, in addition to the on-court messaging, as part of the restart. Players pushed for social justice messaging to play a large part in the return to play after the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd at the hands of police earlier this year.

The Milwaukee Bucks refused to play in Wednesday's playoff game against the Orlando Magic in protest of police brutality and discrimination against Black people after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday.

Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, in the back seven times when he leaned into his car to check on his three children. Blake is paralyzed from the waist down.