You’ve seen the social media posts from NBA players.
Some seem less than enthused with the food and hotel accommodations they’ve been provided inside the Disney bubble ahead of the league’s July 30th return.
Former Duke standout Jay Williams is a regular contributor on Get Up these days, and described those posts as “tone deaf” –
"A lot of the comments that were made over the last couple days have been tone-deaf."
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) July 13, 2020
“When they make comments like that, it takes away, especially from everyday people who are working nine to five jobs, who are working in environments where the same protective measures aren’t being taken because a lot of their employers are trying to increase the bottom line due to the money they’ve lost throughout this pandemic.”
It’s a good take, and I can see both sides of it.
From his perspective, he thinks these players aren’t doing a great job of reading the room, considering the fact that a lot of us would love to be paid millions to sit in a hotel for a couple of months and do nothing but play basketball and video games. The NBA and other leagues are trying to do the best they can under extenuating circumstances while essential workers put themselves at risk while ringing up groceries and delivering packages.
On the other hand, these guys are not us. Their bodies are their livelihood, and they have to stick to a certain diet with an increased number of calories and higher level of nutrition than the average schlub sports blogger or fan who shoves hot dogs and potato chips into their mouth. Ben Simmons, for instance, isn’t going to play to the best of his abilities if he’s eating what we eat. He needs more food and better food and it’s a very important part of a pro athlete’s life, especially in 2020 when sports science and nutrition has evolved from the days of John Kruk and the 1993 Phillies.
Otherwise I’d agree with Williams, and his point about damaging their platform with trivial or “tone deaf” things is also accurate. If you want to connect with normal folks and have them understand where you’re coming from, then don’t alienate them with the “Motel 6” type of social media posts, even if they’re being made partially in jest.