Phil Jackson Has Not Watched The NBA Since 2020 Social Justice Statements: “Couldn’t Watch That”
In the 2020 NBA Bubble, players had the option of replacing their last name on their jerseys with a statement on social justice.
This was one of the results coming from the NBPA working on ideas with the NBA and Nike on how players could voice their support of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Additionally, the NBA also put social justice slogans on the court for the duration of the NBA Bubble.
This however seems to be the reason why Phil Jackson has stopped watching NBA basketball. During an appearance on on Rick Rubin’s Tetragrammaton podcast, Jackson revealed that this was turning him off.
This certainly does not help previous allegations by former players that have portrayed Jackson as a racist.
“They went into the lockout year, and they did something that was kind of wonky. They did a bubble down in Orlando, and all the teams that could qualify went down there, and stayed down there. And they had things on their backs like ‘Justice.’ I made a little funny thing like, ‘Justice just went to the basket and Equal Opportunity just knocked him down.’ . . . So, my grandkids thought that was pretty funny to play up those names. So, I couldn’t watch that.
They even had slogans on the floor, on the baseline. It was catering. It was trying to cater to an audience, or trying to bring a certain audience into play. And they didn’t know it was turning other people off. People want to see sports as non-political.
We’ve had a lot of different type of players that have gone on to be . . . Bill Bradley was a senator, a number of baseball players have been representatives and senators. . . . But their politics stay out of the game. It doesn’t need to be there.”
Phil Jackson says he hasn’t watched the NBA since the Bubble:
“They even had slogans on the floor and the baseline. It was trying… to bring a certain audience to the game, and they didn’t know it was turning other people off. People want to see sports as non-political.” pic.twitter.com/njYUCnL45p
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) April 22, 2023