Even Michael Jordan says “republicans buy Nike’s too.”
But SB doesn’t seem like a guy riding the fence on this one. Players have openly said that he’s been communicating with them, connecting with them on a personal level, wants to hear from them what he can do. Gave $1M to various reform groups that players active in the community told him need it the most.
On the other hand I saw that Jerry Jones was caught actively looking at which players of his kneeled during the anthem Sunday night.
SB seems like an owner who gets it. Who gets what the NBA walk out was really about. Players calling on ownership to do more with their influence. The Ravens are the only team doing something real, sending a petition to McConnell to push through the George Floyd, Police Justice Bill. It was noted on the preshow when Nate Burelson interviewed Calais Campbell. At least Burelson made it sound like the Ravens are the only team taking actual action which is why he chose Campbell for the interview. He was disappointed other teams haven’t followed the Ravens lead.
If SB isn’t trying to rock the boat, he’s doing a bad job of it. The boat needs to be rocked and if certain people fall off, it’s for the better.
I can’t confirm it, but I had heard LeBron James, who almost fist faught James Harden over being a Trump supporter when they had their meeting after the boycott, was playing Madden the days the NBA sat out. I know he’s done a ton for communities, but he has to know he has more influence, and probably a similar looking bank account as some owners when you consider endorsements. He can’t leave the bubble but he could have easily set something up like the Ravens did with a couple days off and nothing better to do.
If social media is a measure of influence, LeBron has 47M followers. Jeanie Buss has 344K, and she’s basically naked in her profile pic. The Baltimore Ravens team account that puts out statements from Bisciotti has only 1.5M followers.
Owners and players need an open forum with one another when it comes to this stuff instead of the old days where they rule from their ivory towers, or like how Jerry Jones still does. SB is open to this dialogue, word will spread about how class the Ravens organization is through this. Players will speak highly of the environment here, and that could lead to better performance on the field. Which even the oldest crummy owners will ultimately want and if those owners have to have tough conversations with their player to get there, maybe they’ll do it. Doing it, even if it the reason isn’t right, is still doing it. But I think SB is really trying to do right here. The players affected by acts of injustice have outspoken respect for him during this. So I do too.
Re: Jordan, it's absolutely clear that in order to maximize your bottom line, you should try to pander to the widest possible base. Unfortunately, a large amount of those people are racist. And the thing about racists is that if you TELL racists that they're racist, the discussion is over and they'll actively fight against you. That's why I think SB is trying to do his best to make sure that sweet, sweet racist money is still coming in.
SB's track record of philanthropy is long. His participation is noted. If it's 100% genuine, I applaud it all; it's useful, no matter his intentions. However, I've heard this story before, with too many names to mention. Several disgraced/racist owners/politicians/CEOs have made massive philanthropic efforts, and then...well...you know. THAT SAID, he does seem to be doing more than most organizations, up to and including his support of the Ravens' most recent initiatives...so maybe, to an extent, he does "get it." But you gotta understand my skepticism here. You don't become super-rich by being an awesome human being.
Re: Lebron, he has done a -ton-, especially in the realm of philanthropy and making it easier for people to vote. The initiative he leads, just yesterday, partnered with LiveNation to open large-capacity performance venues in urban areas for voting. And he didn't leave the bubble to do it.
He was part of the effort to open basketball arenas for voting, as well. Not sure how well that will work (several cities are pushing back), but we will see.
I feel like he sees voting as the cure as opposed to medication, which I vehemently disagree with, but I can't disagree with what he's done. Plus, just to be clear, he's doing this for his own legacy as well. And I have no issue with that, like I have no issue with SB.