Tuesday, October 11, 2011

#occupychickhearncourt Should the NBA be shut down?

Occupy NBA?

Chris Kim A on Google+

The comment above was prompted by a National Basketball Association press release, which reads in part:

"Despite extensive efforts, we have not been able to reach a new agreement with the players' union that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship while fairly compensating our players," NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said.

Even those who are NOT part of the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd are not all that sympathetic. The general tenor of the coverage on sports talk radio characterizes this as a dispute between millionaires and billionaires. But if you start looking at this via the "Occupy Wall Street" lens, things look very different.

The minimum NBA salary for a rookie last season was $473,604. With six years in the NBA, the minimum salary is over $1 million. Average salaries, of course, are much higher - definitely in 1% territory.

Needless to say, the owners themselves are not necessarily champions of the working people. The teams play in stadiums with corporate sponsors, sell luxury boxes to corporations, and - to put it mildly - regular seats at an NBA basketball game are not a purchase option for someone making minimum wage, or even someone making a "living wage." And, of course, the NBA also depends upon national and local television revenue, which puts them in bed with corporations such as Disney and News Corporation.

So if various "Occupy Wall Street" people (at least those who haven't been co-opted by the Democratic Party institutions) and various "Tea Party" people (at least those who haven't been co-opted by the Republican Party institutions) are arguing that Big Corporate Business is Evil, then why aren't they demanding that the NBA shut down? If the owners are losing money, and if the players can't make money, then shouldn't the NBA cease altogether? If this were to happen, government funds used to subsidize stadiums and lure teams can be used to bomb Iran - whoops, I mean to provide a quality education and health care to every child in America, regardless of race, creed, color, sexual orientation, citizenship status, gender identity, or preferred web browser.

Hey, picketing the NBA makes as much sense as picketing Wall Street - especially if you're a union worker who is counting on a pension plan to fund your retirement. ff

P.S. Since the Google+ thread at the top of this post has evolved into a discussion of "Chick & Stew" refreshments, perhaps it's appropriate to share this.

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