Tag: NBA commissioner Adam Silver

NBA Lends Its Name and Its Stars to Campaign Against Gun Violence

An image of the Warriors’ Stephen Curry from an ad that is the result of a partnership between the N.B.A. and the organization Everytown for Gun Safety. (photo via nytimes.com)

The National Basketball Association, alarmed by the death toll from shootings across the country, is stepping into the polarizing debate over guns, regulation and the Second Amendment with an advertising campaign in partnership with one of the nation’s most aggressive advocates of stricter limits on firearm sales.

The first ads, timed to reach millions of basketball fans during a series of marquee games on Christmas Day, focus on shooting victims and contain no policy recommendations. The words “gun control” are never mentioned.

Besides N.B.A. players, the ads feature survivors of shootings and relatives of those killed by guns. (photo via nytimes.com)

The N.B.A.’s involvement suggests that a bloody year of gun deaths — in highly publicized mass shootings and countless smaller-scale incidents — may be spurring even some generally risk-averse, mainstream institutions to action.

Players who appear in the first 30-second ad, which will run five times on Friday, speak in personal terms about the effects of gun violence on their lives. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors describes hearing of a 3-year-old’s shooting: “My daughter Riley’s that age,” he says. Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers recalls the advice he heeded as a child: “My parents used to say, ‘A bullet doesn’t have a name on it.’”

The N.B.A. said it held little internal debate about working with Mr. Bloomberg’s group. “We know far too many people who have been caught up in gun violence in this country,” said Kathleen Behrens, the league’s president of social responsibility and player programs. “And we can do something about it.”

But the decision may prove tricky for the league: While many of its teams are based in cities dominated by Democrats, a number of other teams — and millions of N.B.A. fans — hail from places where Mr. Bloomberg and his approach to guns are viewed with deep suspicion. Ms. Behrens said the league had not shown the ads to team owners, but added, “We’re not worried about any political implications.”

The Bloomberg-N.B.A. partnership was brokered by an unlikely figure: Spike Lee, a member of Everytown’s creative council, whose latest film, “Chi-Raq,” set on Chicago’s South Side, confronts gun violence with an unflinching eye.

Over breakfast at the Loews Regency Hotel in Manhattan in November, not long before the movie was released earlier this month, Mr. Lee proposed the idea for the ads to John Skipper, the president of ESPN, who then took it to Adam Silver, the N.B.A.’s commissioner. Mr. Lee insisted on the participation of Everytown, with which he collaborated on a protest march down Broadway after the film’s New York premiere.

In an interview, he sounded many of the themes that Mr. Bloomberg himself has emphasized in the past, saying it was time for “common sense anti-gun laws.”

“But because of the N.R.A., politicians and the gun manufacturers, we’re dying under that tyranny,” Mr. Lee said.

Mr. Bloomberg’s interventionist policies as mayor and his left-leaning tactics on guns have earned the vitriol of gun-rights advocates, who have mocked him with TV ads as an out-of-touch elitist.

Continue reading “NBA Lends Its Name and Its Stars to Campaign Against Gun Violence”

Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Fined $2.5 Million and Banned for Life by NBA over Racist Comments

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued sweeping sanctions against Donald Sterling on Tuesday in response to controversial remarks about blacks purportedly made by Sterling. Silver said the Clippers owner was fined $2.5 million and was banned from any association with the team for life. Silver added that he would urge other owners to force a sale of the team.

Silver said the lifetime ban would stand regardless of whether Sterling was ultimately forced to sell the team he’s owned for 33 years. The commissioner said the NBA constitution allowed owners to eject Sterling if three-quarters of the owners voted in favor of such a move, and that he would commence the process of expulsion immediately.

“I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him,” said Silver, who appeared visibly agitated throughout his remarks.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted his support, saying he agreed “100%” with Silver’s findings and the actions taken against Sterling.

Under the terms of Silver’s punishment, the 80-year-old Sterling cannot attend any NBA games or practices and is not allowed to inhabit any Clippers facility or participate in any business or player personnel decision involving the team. Sterling is also barred from the NBA’s Board of Governors meetings and other league activities, Silver said.

The commissioner said the $2.5-million fine was the maximum allowed under the league constitution and would be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts. The NBA and the National Basketball Players Assn. will jointly select those organizations.

Silver said Sterling acknowledged that it was his voice on two recently released recordings in which he told a female friend he disapproved of her bringing black friends to Clippers games.

“The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful,” Silver said. “That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage.”

Asked if he expected Sterling to fight his decision, Silver said, “I have no idea.”

Silver said it did not matter that Sterling’s comments were recorded without his knowledge in a private setting. “Whether or not these remarks were shared in private,” Silver said, “they are now public and they represent his views.”

article by Ben Bolch via latimes.com

 

Jason Collins, 1st Openly Gay NBA Player, Signs With Nets and Appears in Game

Jason Collins defending Lakers guard MarShon Brooks. Until Sunday night, no NBA game had taken place with an openly gay player on the floor. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports, via Reuters)

LOS ANGELES — Jason Collins, a 35-year-old center, signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday afternoon and played against the Lakers hours later, appearing in an NBA uniform for the first time since last spring, when he announced that he was gay.  The signing represents a significant step toward transforming North American professional sports into a more welcoming environment for gay athletes. Until Sunday night, no NBA game had taken place with an openly gay player on the floor. The NFL, Major League Baseball and the NHL — the continent’s other three traditional major sports leagues — have never had a publicly gay participant.

The very act of Collins’s suiting up and stepping onto the court — he entered the game to warm applause in the second quarter — represented a milestone in the effort to change a sports culture that some feel has lagged far behind society at large in acceptance of gay people. Collins played 11 minutes in the Nets’ 108-102 victory, finishing with no points, two rebounds, a steal and five fouls.

Collins said he had little time to process it all. He awoke Sunday morning to text messages from his agent and Nets Coach Jason Kidd alerting him to the move, and hours later he was signing his contract. A few hours after that, he was taking his physical and preparing to play his first game since April 17.  “Right now, I’m focused on trying to learn the plays, the game plan assignment,” Collins, sitting at a lectern, said less than an hour before the game Sunday night. “I don’t have time to really think about history right now.”

Continue reading “Jason Collins, 1st Openly Gay NBA Player, Signs With Nets and Appears in Game”