Why aren’t team owners traveling with the team?

The NBA is about to restart. By mid-July, NBA players are going to enter the bubble in Orlando, FL for a few months. There are so many things going on right now. We’re dealing with the pandemic of COVID-19, a budding civil rights movement that could take a turn towards a race war at any moment, and we’re dealing with a recession. This is an interesting time for the NBA to be returning to play.

The NBA has come up with a safer way to resume the 2019-2020 season, and that’s by essentially quarantining the players in Orlando, where they’ll only reside in their hotel and arena where they play. But think about it, we’re tasking these players with a lot.

They’re providing fans that are yearning for sports. They’re also expected to use their huge platform to help our nation by delivering messages of societal change. And most importantly, to any professional league, they’re going to be making money for the NBA and its teams. That’s the biggest motivation behind this. The restart, if completed, will benefit everybody involved.

I’m perplexed while trying to reason out why the players are the only ones going to Orlando, FL, risking their health, and sacrificing months away from their families. The owners have money to gain or to lose. So why aren’t they going to be there with their teams? The NBA says that the bubble is safe, so if it’s that safe, why aren’t the owners going to be there?

This doesn’t apply to those owners that are in the various high-risk groups, but there are plenty of healthy owners, under the age of 65 that would be just fine if the NBA expects the bubble to be as safe as advertised.

ESPN recently reported that team staff members aren’t sure about their safety in the bubble. If that’s the case, and the NBA’s sole purpose is to save the season financially, then they need to voice that. Because right now, with them saying this bubble is supposedly safe, the owners need to be right there with their teams since they’ll be profiting off this as well.

Addam M. Francisco

Founder & Editor-in-Chief. National Association of Black Journalists. University of Central Oklahoma.

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