A huge number of sports fans are tuning out the NBA, citing their displeasure with the league going all-out on left-wing social justice activism.
The breakdown by party shows that Republican-identifying fans are far more likely to tune out games over the left-wing activism, with 57% saying the league had become “too political,” as compared to 22% of Democrats registering the same complaint.
In its report on the survey’s findings, Harris Poll acknowledges that the data “backs Trump’s critique of the NBA”:
“People are tired of watching the highly political @NBA. Basketball ratings are WAY down, and they won’t be coming back. I hope football and baseball are watching and learning because the same thing will be happening to them. Stand tall for our Country and our Flag!!!” Trump tweeted to his 86 million followers yesterday.
A new Harris Poll backs Trump’s critique of the NBA, with 39% of sports fans saying they are watching fewer games. And the chief reason why? Politics. The longtime polling agency surveyed nearly 2,000 people over the weekend and gave people ten options to choose from on why they are watching less basketball.
“The league has become too political” was the clear choice for the decline, with 38% of respondents. “Boring without fans” captured 28% of the vote while the NBA’s association with China caused 19% of sports fans to turn the dial, another nod to a league Trump labeled a “political organization” last week after players boycotted games in response to a police officer shooting Jacob Blake seven times in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The league’s ties with China were particularly a turn-off among Republican fans. Over a third (36%) of Republicans cited the NBA’s ties to human rights-violating China as their reason for tuning out, while 8% of Democrats did the same.
The league’s recent increase in social justice-themed activism is being led in part by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. Back in May, for example, James used his massive social media platform to promote the conspiracy that black people are “literally hunted everyday” in the U.S.
“We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!” the basketball player wrote via Twitter.
“Can’t even go for a damn jog man!” James wrote, referencing the fatal shooting of 25-year-old black man Ahmaud Arbery. “Like [what the f***] man are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!? No man fr ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!! I’m sorry Ahmaud (Rest In Paradise) and my prayers and blessings sent to the […] heavens above to your family!! #StayWoke#ProfiledCauseWeAreSimplyBlack.”
And last month, the NBA postponed a number of playoff games over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Blake — who had a warrant out for his arrest for felony third-degree sexual assault, misdemeanor trespassing and disorderly conduct connected to domestic abuse — was shot by Kenosha police seven times after he opened his car door and reached inside the vehicle during an attempted arrest. Officers were initially called on scene to respond to a domestic disturbance. It was later revealed that Blake had a weapon on the floorboard of his vehicle, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation.
Moreover, as part of a racial justice initiative, NBA players have also been allowed to display a “social justice” word or phrase, selected from an approved list, on the back of their jerseys instead of their last names. The approved list includes “Anti-Racist,” “Ally,” “Say Her Name,” “I Can’t Breathe,” “Enough,” “Black Lives Matter,” and “How Many More.”
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