Ratings for the NBA have dropped significantly as the professional sports league becomes increasingly “woke.”
In addition to obstacles presented by the coronavirus, a report from City Journal outlined the staggering ratings hit of the NBA because of its left-wing activism, most recently wearing social justice-themed warmups and jerseys and even postponing playoff games over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
“Americans have been falling progressively out of love with the NBA, for instance, and the pandemic has only exacerbated an already difficult situation,” the report says. “TV ratings, mediocre after the season restarted, are down collectively by 40 percent on the TNT network, and 20 percent on ESPN, since their peak nearly a decade ago.”
The report noted that the NBA’s “network TV premium broadcasts ratings on ABC are off by 45 percent,” which “a former public relations executive for the NBA describes as a ‘cratering’ of viewership,” per The Athletic.
The pick-up in social justice-themed activist has been, in large part, sparked by Los Angeles Lakers player LeBron James.
Back in May, for example, James used his massive social media platform to promote the conspiracy that black people are “literally hunted everyday” every day in the U.S.
“We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!” the basketball player posted.
“Can’t even go for a damn jog man!” James wrote, referencing the fatal shooting of 25-year-old black man Ahmaud Arbery. “Like [what the f***] man are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!? No man fr ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!! I’m sorry Ahmaud (Rest In Paradise) and my prayers and blessings sent to the […] heavens above to your family!! #StayWoke #ProfiledCauseWeAreSimplyBlack.”
Last week, the NBA postponed Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday NBA playoff games over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
As noted by The Daily Wire, Blake, an accused sex criminal, was shot by Kenosha police seven times after he opened his car door and reached inside the vehicle during an attempted arrest. Officers were initially called on scene to respond to a domestic disturbance.
It was later revealed that Blake had a weapon on the floorboard of his vehicle, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation.
As part of a racial justice initiative, NBA players have also been allowed to display a “social justice” word or phrase, selected from an approved list, on the back of their jerseys instead of their last names.
The approved list includes “Anti-Racist,” “Ally,” “Say Her Name,” “I Can’t Breathe,” “Enough,” “Black Lives Matter,” and “How Many More.”
“The lockdown will cost the NBA at least $1 billion in revenue, and an MLB study earlier this year projected a potential revenue decline of $4 billion from the shortened season,” City Journal noted. “And the poor TV ratings suggest that many sports viewers have missed watching NBA games less than the league might have anticipated.”
“It’s hard to ignore the politics, especially the increasing habit of NBA players and coaches of criticizing the U.S. and its citizens, even while many gave a pass to China—one of the league’s biggest new markets—during its crackdown on Hong Kong dissidents,” the report highlighted.