Opinion: NBA Use of the Term “Governor” Instead of “Owner” is PC Nonsense

If you know anything about 2019, you know that society at large is extremely sensitive. Everything is offensive, everything is inappropriate, and if we don’t show caution in what we say or write, somebody may be triggered.

This story had been floating around for some time, but I don’t recall any sort of official press release or league office statement or confirmation of a policy change. The NBA is moving away from the term “owner” and going with “governor” instead, since “owner” is deemed racially insensitive by a number of professional basketball players. The change just sort of happened, and Commissioner Adam Silver commented on it this weekend.

Via TMZ:

When we saw Silver out in NYC, we asked if he supported the decision and how the league office is handling the issue.

“I don’t want to overreact to the term because, as I said earlier, people end up twisting themselves into knots avoiding the use of the word owner,” Silver said … “But, we moved away from that term years ago in the league.”

“We call our team owners ‘Governor of the team’ and ‘alternate Governor.'”

Silver says the word owner has sometimes slipped through in an NBA memo — but general rule in the office is to no longer use that term … adding, “I’m sensitive to it and I think to the extent teams are moving away from the term, we’ll stick with using Governor.”

This is a bit of a nothing burger to me, because people like Sixers Managing Partner Josh Harris don’t own Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. They own the team that those guys play for. The players voluntarily enter the NBA, where they go on to earn millions of dollars playing basketball. The “owners” are majority equity holders operating under league rules combined with a collective bargaining agreement, similar to pretty much every private sector corporation in this country.

Likewise, if you take a job with Crossing Broad, you are working for Kyle. He owns the company, not the writers, i.e. Bob/Phil/Russ/etc. You can literally start working or stop working for him whenever you’d like. That’s generally how free market Capitalism works.

Stated simply:

Mark Cuban shot this down back when Draymond Green came out against the use of the term “owner” back in 2017.

Said Cuban at the time:

“For him to try to turn it into something it’s not is wrong,” Cuban told ESPN. “He owes the NBA an apology. I think he does, because to try to create some connotation that owning equity in a company that you busted your ass for is the equivalent of ownership in terms of people, that’s just wrong. That’s just wrong in every which way.

“People who read that message and misinterpret it — make it seem like we don’t do everything possible to help our players succeed and don’t care about their families and don’t care about their lives, like hopefully we do for all of our employees — that’s just wrong.”

“We own equity. We don’t own people,” Cuban said. “And there’s a big difference. This is a country where we have corporations, and you put up your money and buy equity. E-Q-U-I-T-Y. It translates into shares of stock. People who bust their ass and work hard and get a little bit lucky have enough money to buy enough shares of stock to buy a company.

Right, so I can’t say it any better than Cuban did, and I understand that oftentimes it’s best to take a step back and listen to people when they tell you how something makes them feel, to try to understand where they’re coming from and adjust our approach and our thinking instead. If a small and harmless change makes somebody else feel better, then it’s corny for me to sit here and bitch about it. Changing a title from “owner” to “governor” literally has zero impact on me, you, and about 99% of people out there.

The problem is two-fold:

One, the complaints are totally off-base. NBA executives “own” their teams because they literally hold a majority stake in the club. They don’t own the people and their employees are not forced into labor, just like every other corporation that exists in this country.

Two, it’s a continuation of the slippery slope that political correctness put us on in the first place. There’s nothing wrong with evolving the way we think to be more inclusive and sensitive to other people, but it gets to a point where the merits of constant complaints can absolutely be called into question. At some point we have to say, “okay, this is getting ridiculous, enough already.”

Finally, if we must insist on using the term “governor,” remember that not all governors are good people:

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26 Comments

  • Team master June 24, 2019 at 11:06 am

    lol honestly, all liberals need to be erased from society. How much of a serious slave do you have to be to be offended by the term TEAM OWNER. hahaha, but to be fair… we are dealing with “humans” that have a 3rd grade education at best.

    • Bill h June 24, 2019 at 1:36 pm

      Reminds me of the Churchill quote: “Anyone who’s 20 should be a liberal. Anyone who’s 30 should fantasize about exterminating those with whom they disagree.”

      • team master June 24, 2019 at 1:49 pm

        Poor Billy H on the wrong side and losing for 3 years straight with no end in sight.

        • Bill h June 24, 2019 at 4:27 pm

          Advice: read Sven Lindqvist’s book, “Exterminate All the Brutes,” and learn how your fantasy of “erasure” matches those of the Europeans who murdered millions in rubber tree plantations and – later – in concentration camps.

          Other advice: if you want to be an impressive conservative, be rich and say nothing. Those are the only conservatives who matter. Everyone else is either on the payroll or giving away their milk for free.

  • Kink-shaming in 2019 June 24, 2019 at 11:11 am

    It’s outrageous…just like insisting there is a difference between “journalism” of pointless wars and “reporting” of irrelevant sports teams.

  • So Taguchi - Phillies Legend June 24, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Welcome to the logical side of the political spectrum.

    ‘If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.’

    • You forgot the last line... June 24, 2019 at 1:47 pm

      If you can’t actually defend your political opinions, use a quote from 80 years ago to seem smarmy and superior with no effort.

      • Commenrer-shaming in 2019 June 24, 2019 at 2:04 pm

        Those who don’t learn from histrionics are doomed to repeat it!

  • Rick shoe June 24, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Sick world we live in . Players and libs always crying

  • 'ello June 24, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Guv’na!

  • Reality June 24, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Sounds like the perfect topic for Mike Miss to milk this week for content, add to that his trivia day and we are talking about huge ratings.

    • Rob Ph June 24, 2019 at 11:59 am

      Missanelli is woke, so he will like the change. I get douch chills

  • Diesel Dixxx June 24, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Who own the team? No, no, its owns…ownssss…who ownsss the team?

  • "This is a bit of a nothing burger" June 24, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Thanks for chiming in on it, Kinker. Looking forward to discussing this important piece at the next subscriber meet and greet.

    • Scott Kink-ery June 24, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      Hey give a little more credit, at least this wasn’t another #jetpaste steal, lol

  • Donald Trump June 24, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Exactly why I won and exactly why i’ll win again. Libs are turning off the majority with this nonsense

    • Crying Commenter Shart Sharveit June 24, 2019 at 12:02 pm

      I’m offended at this! Wahhh! Muh Russia!

      • 74 percent June 24, 2019 at 5:32 pm

        Unfortunately Kinker you made a sensible comment.
        This should be a nothing thing.
        But then again everyone not even reaching my 74 percent would like to make a case out of this.
        Would live to hear Janice and Solomon’s take on this subject though.

    • Mr. Stereotypical CB Comment CHUD June 24, 2019 at 1:09 pm

      Hmm… yes in the rational and measured debate going on for the 2020 presidential election, I consider a private organization choosing to call team owners “governors” with no input whatsoever from any politician to have slightly more impact on my vote than the active concentration camps on the border and ongoing brinkmanship with Iran and NK. Surely Donald Trump must have my vote as he will immediately mandate all team owners be referred to as “Masters” henceforth, suck it libs!

  • Bill h June 24, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Over/under on number of black people consulted prior to writing this story: .05

  • Auschwitz Adam June 24, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Adam Silver is looking buff these days, has he been lifting and working out?

  • The Dude June 24, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    Definitely taking the under.

  • Ben says shooting is overrated. June 24, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    This is the reason why I hope this league IMPLODES…don’t get me wrong I like watching the game of basketball that’s played at a high level..im just NOT interested in these A holes who play & doochbags on ESPN preaching to me all the time.

    Anyone living comfortably making 10, 20, 30, 40 million dollars a year & objects to the term “owner” because they presumed association with slavery is an idiot & doesn’t deal in reality. If these dickheads were so concerned with appearances & real slavery maybe they should turn their attention to the sneaker companies who pay them big dollars to endorse & wear there shoes & be concerned with where & who makes the product.

  • Lunatic June 24, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    Amen to that

  • Liberal tears sustain me June 24, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    They are finally free!

  • am i right? June 24, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    Eggplants.

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