Yesterday I railed against the NBA for throwing the fans under the bus. Today, I remind everyone that in these times, the people who really get fucked are those that rely on the NBA for the income to survive. Tom Withers of the AP recently posted an article on the situation:
Ushers, security personnel, parking lot attendants, concession workers, restaurant employees and others all stand to have their hours cut or join the country’s 14 million unemployed.
“Yeah, financially, I’m worried,” said waitress Jeannette Lauersdorf, a single mother of two, who on a quiet Wednesday afternoon is serving six guests at three tables inside Harry Buffalo. On a night the Cavs are playing, the place has a 30-minute wait for a table. “We’ve got bills to pay.”
For all of the hoopla from D Fish, Billy Hunter, Stern, KG, Kobe, Amare, whoever, about unity and sticking to principals, these ass clowns are completely throwing low to middle income workers inside and outside of arenas completely under the bus. This isn’t about politics or economics, these are real people that rely on the NBA playing games to survive.
Of course, the NBA has a different version of this story: fans pay for tickets and watch games on TV, and the NBA is supposed to return the favor by displaying the best product in the world. What the NBA won’t talk about are the massive tax rebates and public funding that several cities across the country have ponied up for the hope of job creation and a stable economic linchpin in their downtowns, particularly in small market cities. How big of a commitment has the public poured into stadiums? 5 billion dollars… since 2000. The NBA only exists in the amount of markets it exists in because it made a promise to those cities to be profit centers and job creators. Now the league is breaking that promise, and in the worse of all possible economic situations. People can’t handle any more heartbreak. We turn to sports to be free of all of the bullshit, corruption and greed that permeates throughout all of the world right now. Instead, we are just treated to more of it, and in the worst possible way.
The egregiousness of this situation is beyond contempt, but the utter lack of accountability on the part of the NBA is even more reprehensible. Unfortunately the only solution for us is to say “stop watching basketball.” But I can’t stop watching basketball. I love basketball. I love the Lakers. But I hate everything about everyone that talks about standing up for their rights in this situation. I’m ok with millionaires vs. billionaires. I’m not ok with (millionaires vs. billionaires) vs. minimum wage workers. Mr. Stern, the responsibility is on you to refocus this fight where it matters. Families don’t deserve to be further shit on because you guys are fighting over 2.4 percentage points.