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.
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.