The NBA has announced what some view as a questionable partnership with Emirates Airlines that would change the name of the league’s in-season tournament and also add sponsored jersey patches on referee’s uniforms.
In a statement released today, the NBA boasted that it would be renaming its newly announced in-season tournament the “Emirates NBA Cup,” with all NBA, WNBA and G League referees donning the Emirates patch on their outfits.
“Emirates NBA Cup,” rings right off the tip of your tongue, no?
If the NBA thought that people didn’t care about its pointless in-season tournament before, naming it something that sounds like some sort of soccer event sure as hell isn’t going to solve the problem.
But this goes beyond just a poor name choice.
There are deep concerns that, because Emirates Airlines is state-owned by the United Arab Emirates, we are seeing yet another example of foreign investors and countries that don’t have our best interests at hand, having tremendous influence that could one day lead to disastrous repercussions in the socio-political world.
IS THE NBA SELLING AMERICA OUT?
The NBA’s partnership with Emirates Airlines comes across as a legitimate business deal, and from a legal and public perception stance, it definitely is. But if one doesn’t believe that the UAE and its unlimited checkbook (thanks to that lovely three letter word “O-I-L”) won’t lead to the UAE having more of a say at the proverbial sports table, then you are lying to yourself.
As the old saying goes, “I was born at night, but I wasn’t born last night.” It’s as clear as the Arabian desert sun what is going on here and there’s even a word for it thanks to what the Saudis have already started doing.
“Sportswashing” is when countries that have done some questionable things in the past try to distract their own wrongdoings by using their wealth and power to influence others. The perfect example of it is Saudi Arabia and their multi-billion dollar Saudi Investment Fund. The Saudis have absolutely taken over the sports and entertainment world thanks to their endless supply of wealth, despite having a not-so great history like oh, I don’t know – having the majority of the 9–11 hijackers being from its country, and a liking to bone saws.
In the case of the United Arab Emirates, one point of contention would be the fact that homosexuality is illegal in the country.
You’d think that maybe the WNBA would have an issue with that, no? What about all those “pro” nights and charities and movements that the league supports? Do they suddenly not matter because the UAE has money? We know that Commissioner Adam Silver has no problem with China buying his silence, but to have the WNBA involved now too? Hate to see it.
ADAM SILVER’S DOUBLE STANDARD
The fact of the matter is simple: The NBA doesn’t care about you or America. It has shown this by willfully turning a blind eye as well as making MASSIVE deals with China and now with a Middle Eastern country.
The double standard is absolutely striking when it comes to the NBA. And if we’ve learned anything from Commissioner Adam Silver and the likes of LeBron James, this will only be the beginning. They stand on one (Chinese-made) sneaker claiming that America is racist and that America is at fault for many of the world’s problems. Yet cut massive deals with foreign entities that are backed by regimes that should bring some pause.
WHAT GOES AROUND COMES BACK AROUND
I’ve been at the forefront of the sportswashing issue here for OutKick. I’ve written about it time and time again – as well as accurately predicted that China would eventually be replaced by the Saudis and other Middle Eastern nations that are willing to spend whatever it takes to gain power and influence over the sports and entertainment world.
I’m all for people and businesses making money. But do you think we could maybe just have kept it in-house? Were there not ANY American companies that the leagues could have reached out to for a deal instead?
That’s the underlining problem here. It’s not so much the deal itself, it’s the behind the scenes aspect of it. The distraction, the media blitz, the PR campaigns telling everyone to look at the glitz and glam and the flashy lights rather than question how that all came to be.
And when billions of dollars are at stake, do you the person reading this really think that Adam SIlver has YOUR best interests at heart?
Just look at what happened to the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.