#NBA

NBA ratings take a dive post HK/China saga

Last October, Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the Hong Kong protesters. Little did he know that the Rockets, the NBA and several key basketball stars of the game bowed to China by slamming Morey and apologizing on his behalf.

Rolling over was no surprise for the league given the attempts to drive the game into that populous market to make lucrative sums. LeBron James stands to make up to $1bn from Nike by the time he is 64 thanks to the China market.

Unfortunately, fans at home seem displeased. If the lessons from the NFL kneeling drama weren’t evidence enough, the NBA has also seen ratings plummet so far. Could it be that fans only watch to escape the stresses of a large mortgage, family and work?

Variety noted,

Viewership across ESPN, TNT and NBA TV is down 15% year-to-year overall, according to Nielsen figures. TNT’s coverage is averaging 1.3 million viewers through 14 telecasts, down 21% versus last year’s comparable coverage, while on ESPN the picture isn’t much prettier. The Disney-owned network is down 19%, averaging 1.5 million viewers versus just under 1.9 million viewers at the same stage last year.

Yet more evidence of how getting woke makes you go broke.

Naturally the league has blamed it on the absence of key stars due to injury. Or maybe it is because paying customers are sick of being lectured to?!

Slam dunking slavery

When will we reach peak woke on grievance where it actually doesn’t exist? The NBA has decided that the use of the word “owner” is racially insensitive given most of the basketball players are African-American. The idea is that it has links to “slave owner.” Therefore the use of “governor” is deemed more appropriate terminology for the individuals that legally “own” the team.

Hang on a minute, doesn’t Michael Jordan, legendary black basketball player of Chicago Bulls fame, own, sorry, govern the Charlotte Hornets? Will he get an exemption? Perhaps the NBA should have a quiet word about using blonde white supremacist females to promote his basketball wear as being unfair to models from minority backgrounds? Or could it be he doesn’t give a damn, like many of the basketball players held back by the chains of multi-year multi-million dollar contracts?

Steven Curry must be feeling oppressed by his $201m 5yr deal. Perhaps governors can get around the salary cap by including slavery reparations as a component of pay. It would be unconscionable for NBA Governor Adam Silver to deny such action.

This political correctness is just plain stupid. Silver should be sacked. If there were own-goals in basketball, he’s scored it. Let’s see if NBA attendance falls on the back of this crap.

National Felon League (NFL)

It changes the moral high ground on the debate on the NFL when dragging it down into the statistics of the players themselves. Perhaps some players are taking a knee to stop themselves being held accountable by the very laws they break. 713 different players between 2000-2014 have been arrested, Shocking list of charges – rape, murders, shootings, animal cruelty, prostitution rings, assault, robbery, illegal gun possession, DUI, resisting arrest and so forth. So ask yourself why fans might get turned off being lectured to by these social justice footballers? Great role models.

Makes the NRL in Australia look like a bunch of choir boys.

With pay TV viewership and game attendance continuing to fall (according to Nielsen) we are seeing some team owners like the Steelers begging fans to accept it’s just a misunderstanding and sponsors like Nike sticking up for the NFL because they want to make sure their investment sustains a return. Budweiser will be the big swing factor on the NFL. It proudly promotes it has 11,000 veterans working for it. Pepsi, Budweiser’s Anheuser-Busch InBev paid $1.4 billion to sponsor the NFL out to 2022. When AB InBev first inked this deal in 2011 (to last through the 2017 Super Bowl) it paid $1.2 billion. Not small pennies. DirecTV has announced they will give full refunds to customers who want to cancel their NFL channel. Of course DirecTV will be asking the NFL to cover the costs of that.

No matter what one’s views are, the NFL will live and die by their actions. As mentioned yesterday, taking a knee is now so commonplace it is actually no longer seen as the protest it was originally done for. Then again, all the NFL is bringing on itself is the double standards of many of its players.

A letter from the owner to Steelers fans – yeah, that’ll fix it

3D29FFAA-CEB5-4A1D-B5AC-45A01EE969FC

How stupid does the owner take his fans for? Pittsburgh Steelers’ owner Art Rooney II sent a letter to fans (below) which sought to explain the team’s actions. Anyone fan with half a brain would look at this letter, the actions of the coach pillorying the war veteran Alejandro Villanueva for standing alone and the forced apology as nothing short of another slap in the face. None of the message is consistent. If there was a pre-meditated plan to stay in the locker room for the anthem they could have blissfully tweeted the action on social media beforehand if indeed they thought their fans would buy it. That they didn’t smacks of the contempt they have and this insincere apology only proves it. What a joke. No wonder the ratings keep plummeting and the fans keep burning their memorabilia. Never come between an American and their patriotism.

To Steelers Nation:

I want to reach out to you, the members of Steelers Nation, based on what I believe is a misperception about our players’ intentions in not taking the field for the National Anthem in Chicago. The intentions of Steelers players were to stay out of the business of making political statements by not taking the field. Unfortunately, that was interpreted as a boycott of the anthem – which was never our players’ intention.

Our players come from many different backgrounds and are united by what it means to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are active in their communities and participate regularly in events designed to give back to those communities. And they appreciate the support they get from Steelers fans around the country and here at home.

I also know that our players have tremendous respect for the members of our military services, including their teammate Alejandro Villanueva. There was never any desire on the part of our players to show disrespect for our service members.

Yesterday, I received an email from a Steelers fan who said tell the players to just play football. That is exactly what they wanted to do. They wanted their sole focus to be on playing the game, while also coming together as a unified team.

The main thing we can do is learn from this and strive to come together remaining unified as a football team. I believe we are capable of accomplishing this with the support of our fans.

Steelers Nation is made up of the best fans in the National Football League. We appreciate your continued support of our players, coaches and staff.

Sincerely,

Art Rooney, II