Sitting down with Rachel Nichols on NBA Countdown, NBA commissioner Adam Silver suggested next season social justice messages will be left largely off the court.
This season, players wore jerseys with social justice messages including “Black Lives Matter, I Can’t Breathe, Say Her Name, Anti-Racist” and the bubble court had “Black Lives Matter” written on it.
Viewership for the NBA finals is struggling with Game 2 and 3 being all time lows.
Game 1: 7.4 million viewers
Game 2: 6.1 million viewers
Game 3: 5.9 million viewers
Silver said “We’re completely committed to standing for social justice and racial equality and that’s been the case going back decades. It’s part of the DNA of this league. How it gets manifested is something we’re gonna have to sit down with the players and discuss for next season.”
He continued “I would say, in terms of the messages you see on the court and our jerseys, this was an extraordinary moment in time when we began these discussions with the players and what we all lived through this summer. My sense is there’ll be somewhat a return to normalcy, that those messages will largely be left to be delivered off the floor.”
He also seemed to be in touch with fan reception of the Black Lives Matter messaging: “And I understand those people who are saying ‘I’m on your side, but I want to watch a basketball game,” he added.