The NBA is chasing away fans in droves because of politics.
LeBron James as the face of the league has overseen a disastrous decline in fan enthusiasm.
And James’s anti-police protest is costing the NBA more than anyone thought.
LeBron James made the decision to get political during the 2016 presidential campaign, shortly after Colin Kaepernick began his anti-American anthem protest.
James saw Kaepernick getting all the plaudits from the left-wing literati, and he wanted to get in on the act.
The result of leagues like the NBA getting political is a sharp decline in fan favorability.
Among Republicans, NBA favorability has gone from +20 to -5 since January 2020.
But the drop in ratings has been even more dramatic.
“Compared to 2019, TNT’s 2021 slate dropped 19%, from 1.5 million to 1.2 million. ESPN fell even further, down 26%, from 1.6 million down to under 1.2 million. NBA commissioner Adam Silver once blamed cable packages for collapsing ratings. Has he seen what his sport is doing on ABC, the NBA’s sole broadcast partner? ABC tanked 25% between 2019 and 2021, going from 3.6 million to 2.7 million. That’s a new all-time low. Since 2011-12, ABC’s NBA broadcasts are down more than 45%. Nearly half of the audience has left.”
Fans were really turned off by the league’s full embrace of the Marxist Black Lives Matter organization.
Last season’s NBA Finals ratings were down nearly 70% from the year prior, which itself was not a wildly rated series, either.
The ratings bonanza that was the NBA in the 1990s has fallen off a cliff.
In the 1980s, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird transformed the league into event viewing; prior to their arrival, the NBA Finals aired on tape delay.
Michael Jordan took the game global in the 1990s as the face of the Dream Team.
LeBron James’s legacy as the ambassador of the game will be declining ratings, in-your-pace partisan politics, sickening anti-police rants, and capitulation to the Chinese Communist Party.
James and other stars—including high-profile head coaches Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich—incessantly ripped the United States, but had nothing to say about China’s numerous human rights abuses.
In fact, James chastised former Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey for expressing support for pro-freedom protesters in Hong Kong.
Since then, Hong Kong has essentially been annexed by Mainland China.
Taiwan could be the next target of the CCP, and the NBA surely won’t speak up on the issue.
The league has become too dependent on the Chinese market, especially since they’ve alienated so many American fans.
NBA players need to stop ranting about politics without having a grasp of the issues, and get back to enticing a broad spectrum of fans.
Instead, fans might have to bear players boycotting a playoff game because an alleged rapist got shot by the police while resisting arrest and going for a knife.