The NBA has seen the backlash that is occurring from multiple NFL players protesting police violence and racial inequality during the national anthem. That is why they are proactively trying to find a solution before the season starts. The NBA sent a letter to the NBPA to try work with the players on the most appropriate ways to protest.
Nothing in sports is decided in a vacuum. The decision to move the NBA All-Star game was not done on a whim. There was probably some consultation with partners. That is why being proactive with the NBPA is important.
Now the NBA can work with the players to make sure there aren’t any boycott NBA movements like the issues the NFL is facing. Sponsors and partners can be prepared for any backlash. If the protest is seen as respectful by the people who abhor Colin Kaepernick, it helps out everyone involved.
It also helps out the players. The last thing companies that have endorsement deals with players want is the face of their brand to be the center of controversy. Republicans buy shoes too according to the urban legend about Michael Jordan.
Now Nike, Under Armour, Jordan Brand, and any other major endorsement partner will have an idea about what type of protest players will make. They will be ahead of the game. Those companies can also work with the players to make sure they are engaging the community and taking part in philanthropy that supports the cause the players care about.
Make no mistake about it. The players were going to do something. There is going to be some type of protest. The biggest names and most influential players have all come out against police violence in some form or another. That means being proactive is important. It’s also against the rules of the NBA to sit during the national anthem. The absolute worst situation possible would players sitting or protesting during the anthem and the NBA fining said players. That only brings more scrutiny and more attention to the league and players.
It should be no surprise the NBA is proactive on social issues. The league and its leadership have addressed every issue with logic, sincere thought, and concern. Getting in front of the issue helps every stakeholder involved.