BLM supporters are undermining the NBA’s support for the movement by demanding accountability for Pistons owner Tom Gores.
Gores, aged 56, runs a private equity firm which invested in a prison telecom firm called Securus. This firm charges predatory prices on users – up to $15 for a 15-minute phone call. It also charges sky-high deposit rates and preys on compromised customers.
This firm rakes in over $700 million annually through such dubious practices. Given the skewed ratio of black to white prisoners, such practices disproportionately affect the community.
Contents of the ad released about Tom Gores
In an online petition titled “Demand the NBA Force Tom Gores to Sell the Detroit Pistons,” the group writes:
“As a result of Securus’ predatory practices, which Tom Gores has authorized, one in three families goes into debt trying to stay connected to a loved one behind bars, and 87 percent of the people carrying that burden are women, largely women of color.”
The pressure is on for billionaire Tom Gores to divest from prison-industry company Securus Technologies—or for the NBA to force him to sell the Detroit Pistons https://t.co/zXzBBuMM9n
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) December 20, 2020
“While advocates around the country have fought to stop Securus from exploiting families, Gores has done little to help those his decisions have harmed.”
“For our part at Worth Rises, we delivered our demands to Tom in March of 2019 with deadline of end of year 2020 to divest from Securus. We then spent nearly a year in conversation with Gores and his team to no avail. And in January, Gores cancelled a meeting with directly impacted families.”
The group wants Gores either to give up his stake in Securus, or to sell his NBA team, the Detroit Pistons. The league will itself come under intense scrutiny at a time when the regular season reopening is only 2 days away.