Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson says he stopped watching the NBA ever since it turned too political back in 2020
The coach with most NBA Championships to his name has expressed he doesn’t watch the league anymore ever because he believes that ever since 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything became too political at a time when the country was already very polarized.
The former Bulls and Lakers coach appeared on Rick Rubin’s “Tetragrammaton” podcast this weekend as he explained how these social justice and woke campaigns have actually turned fans off the game.
Phil Jackson says the NBA’s obsession with woke politics is “turning people off.”https://t.co/Edx9OXTtNC
— OutKick (@Outkick) April 22, 2023
“They had things on their back like ‘Justice’ and a funny thing happened like, ‘Justice went to the basket and Equal Opportunity knocked him down.’ Some of my grandkids thought it was pretty funny to play up those names. I couldn’t watch that,” Jackson said.
To give some context, after the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the players in the NBA were allowed to wear slogans like “Justice” and “Equal Opportunity” at the back of their jerseys. After the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin, most athletes refused to play so games had to be postponed.
According to the eleven-time league champion, letting players use these slogans on their shirts made the NBA too political, creating even more separation in an already divided country.
“It was trying to cater to an audience or 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. Politics stays out of the game. It doesn’t need to be there,” he added.
The internet has gone into a meltdown over Jackson’s remarks, bringing back old rumours about him being a racist. Even if fans disagree with the former coach, given his stature in the sport there is no doubt that his words will keep making waves.
ESPN’s Jalen Rose blasts Jackson for his latest comments
One of these waves reached Jalen Rose’s shores, and the ESPN broadcaster simply cannot believe the legendary coach’s recent comments.
“You can’t make this up. Hall of Fame coach and 11-time champion Phil Jackson claims to have stopped supporting the NBA because it became ‘too political’ when it went into the bubble and was catering to certain audiences by putting slogans on the back of jerseys and Black Lives Matter on the floor,” Rose said on air.
Jackson’s remarks have already been covered by most of the press. Check out Fox News’ take on the matter:
However, the former NBA player kept at it. “The same Phil Jackson that won championships with some of the greatest Black athletes in the history of the game – Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, ” Rose said.
“Made millions on their backs and off their sweat equity. You’re sitting there watching the game with your grandkids and y’all think its funny when justice passes the ball to equal opportunity,” he continued. “When somebody shows you who they are, believe them. So, stop watching… forever.”
Source: Basketball Insider