adidas gazelle kids Look at owners to see why NFL and NBA differ on player protests
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Roger Goodell and Adam Silver are two very different men who have very similar jobs.
One is the commissioner of the NFL, and the other has the same title for the NBA.
But if you’ve been paying attention to everything that’s been going on the past few weeks, you’ve probably noticed that the NFL and the NBA have been on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of how they’ve handled player protest.
“The logo of the NBA is, what? A player. The NBA promotes, who? The players. The NFL promotes the shield. People cheer for helmets rather than the individuals,” said former NBA player and current ESPN talent Jalen Rose.
For those of you who don’t know, the commissioners of the NFL and the NBA basically work for the owners. They are hired by them and fired by them. Which means that the agenda of the owners usually takes precedence and sets the tone for culture.
So, when you think about all the gaffes that the NFL has made in dealing with player injuries, CTE and concussions, and domestic violence, the majority of the blame should fall on the owners, but it doesn’t because part of the job that comes with being the commissioner is taking the credit when things go well, and the blame when somebody else fumbles.
It should be no surprise that Goodell has been ambivalent when it comes to Colin Kaepernick and player protest. Especially when you realize that his public statements about the situation have been much ado about nothing.
Don’t you find it ironic that NFL owners decided to kneel last Sunday, but are still blackballing the guy who started this whole thing?
NBA commissioner Adam SIlver. (Jeff Chiu/AP)
Roger Goodell is Pinocchio, and the owners are Geppetto.
And if you think that last line was harsh,
consider this. Despite ratings dips, player protest, attacks from the President, CTE cases, and multiple domestic abuse scandals, all of these things have occurred on Goodell’s watch, yet the owners are excepted to renew his contract through 2024?
Because Goodell keeps the money rolling in.
The average NFL franchise is worth $2.5 billion, up 8 percent from 2016, which was a whopping 19 percent the year prior; and by 2025 it is projected that the league will be worth $25 billion.
According to Forbes, the average NBA franchise is worth $1.36 billion. But the difference in the two leagues isn’t just based on money because race and culture play a huge role as well.
While the NFL still has no idea how they want to handle player protest a year after Kaepernick kneeled, the NBA put out a statement earlier this month to address the issue before their season even started.
“None of us operates in a vacuum. Critical issues that affect our society also impact you directly,” read a letter to players from Silver and the NBA’s Player Association Executive Director Michele Roberts.
“Fortunately, you are not only the world’s greatest basketball players you have real power to make a difference in the world, and we want you to know that the Players Association and the League are always available to help you figure out the most meaningful way to make that difference.”
Mahmoud Abdul Rauf prays during the anthem alongisde Nuggets teammates in 1996. (MICHAEL S. GREEN/AP)
The NBA’s current stance is a far cry from how they used to handle player protest,
as Mahmoud Abdul Rauf was blackballed from the league in the 1990s when he protested the national anthem while being one of the best guards in the league.