The NBA ratings crash has resulted from players, coaches and referees taking a knee during the national anthem and wearing a ‘black lives matter’ shirt
The NBA has been taking steps to address the issue of racism in the United States. The ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement is one example among many other such movements that have been brought to the fore to tackle injustice against African-Americans. These have been organised by teams and players, coaches, referees and staff of both the NBA and MLB.
However, these movements could have caused the ratings for both the leagues to drop in their respective restarts.
NBA Ratings Crash
Outkick reported that the return of the NBA on TNT saw the following numbers:
Lakers-Clippers: 3.4 million
Pelicans-Jazz: 2.1 million
Celtics-Bucks (6:30p) – 1.3M
Mavs-Rockets (9p)- 1.7M
All NBA players, coaching staff and referees(barring a few exceptions) have taken a knee during the national anthem before the game. The move has been seen as a way to spread awareness about the Black Lives Matter movement.
However, a lot of fans feel that kneeling during the national anthem is an utter disrespect to the government and the military that protects the country.
Hence, a large section of the fans have asked to boycott the NBA, for promoting a ‘political’ agenda, when all it should be doing is, sticking to the sport.
Social Justice Messages on NBA Jerseys
The NBA has come up with multiple ways to maximise spreading the message against racial discrimination. Both the players and administrators have constantly voiced their opinions about the discrimination that has been taking place against coloured communities. They have also come up with multiple methods to increase awareness on this subject.
During the NBA 2020 restart, many of the players opted to have a word or a message written on the back of their jerseys. The teams and players also kneeled during the national anthem during the restart.
MLB Ratings suffer a dip too
It is not only the NBA Leagues ratings which have dropped. Major League Baseball (MLB) has also rallied to create awareness against the systemic oppression and racial discrimination in the country.
An educated guess would be that both these leagues’ active outspoken involvement in the fight against racial oppression and prejudice has caused the rating to drop.
Ethan Strauss of the Athletics posted on Twitter stating, “MLB really fell off after opening day. In general, both leagues aren’t getting the audience one might expect from a nation that’s been deprived of entertainment for months.”
MLB really fell off after opening day. In general, both leagues aren’t getting the audience one might expect from a nation that’s been deprived of entertainment for months https://t.co/GazeoR9SNB
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) August 2, 2020
The NBA and MLB are doing their best to help provide their players a platform where they can spread messages to end racism. However, fans have taken very kindly to it. With ratings crashing like crazy, it will be interesting to see, how both the NBA and MLB tackle social issues from here on.