Sports | June 3, 2019 11:05 am

Report: Some NBA Teams Want to Abolish Term “Owners”

The term brings racial connotations to a league where most players are black

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. (Zach Gibson/Getty)
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. (Zach Gibson/Getty)
Getty Images

According to TMZ, a number of NBA teams are considering doing away with the term “owner” thanks to the racial connotations it has in a league in which the majority of the players are black and the majority of the owners and high-level executives are white.

The prospect of making the switch began being discussed at high levels within the league following a conversation about it on LeBron James’ HBO show The Shop. “You shouldn’t say owner,” Draymond Green of the Warriors said during the discussion. He suggested “CEO,” “chairman” or “majority shareholder” as acceptable alternatives.

Before appearing on the show, Green previously addressed the issue.

“Very rarely do we take the time to rethink something and say, ‘Maybe that’s not the way,’” Green told reporters in 2017. “Just because someone was taught that 100 years ago doesn’t make that the right thing today. And so, when you look at the word ‘owner,’ it really dates back to slavery. The word ‘owner,’ ‘master’— it dates back to slavery. We just took the words and we continued to put it to use.”

“We refer to the owners of our teams as Governors; each team is represented on our Board of Governors,” an NBA spokesperson told TMZ in a statement.

Despite that, TMZ reports the league has not been placing any pressure on team owners to alter their titles.

The Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz all list variation of chairman, managing partner, chief executive officer or governor instead of owner, according to Fox News.

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