What is a professional athlete’s social responsibility? How does this social responsibility affect his or her career? Does their social responsibility affect their choice of teams to play for?

I ask these questions because recently we have seen LeBron James make comments concerning the state of the country and the impact it is having on the community. Kevin Durant has made disparaging comments about Donald Trump, which he states he will not go to the White House if invited. We have seen Carmelo Anthony marching with the citizens of Baltimore protesting the situation surrounding Freddie Gray.

In light of the Colin Kaepernick situation, Colin is currently unemployed because of his stance against injustice. I am not saying the same type of black balling of players will happen in the NBA based on the player’s position or activism regarding social issues but how does it affect their career decisions. Will a player not sign with a certain team if the owner has different political or social views? For example, Dan Gilbert the Cleveland Cavaliers owner is a Donald Trump support and LeBron James was a Hilary Clinton supporter. LeBron has express disapproval of how Trump is handling certain issues. Can LeBron work for someone who has a different view point on matters that affect his community? Can Dan Gilbert employ a player who speaks out loud against people or policies he may support?

The professional sports leagues always want players to be role models, they even have morality clauses put in some players contracts. Do owners expect players to appear as role models in the situation they deem acceptable? Most players are role models or heroes to the people for the areas they grew up in, therefore shouldn’t the concerns of these people take precedence?  A professional athlete’s popularity does not last long, will he or she use their platform to pacify many or help those in need?

 

It is the Month of July and NBA free agency has started. With start of free agency some of your favorite players maybe going to a different team, players will be traded and players will be getting contracts worth astronomical amounts of money. Well, that is the perception associated with NBA contracts.

As of today, Stephen Curry has been offered an NBA contract worth over $200 million for five years. Most people will say this a lot of money to play the game of basketball. I would agree this is a lot of money but there is a general agreement Stephen is worth this money. One has to consider the excitement, ticket sales, wins and championships that he brings to the organizations. People will debate whether or not other players deserve the amount of money they are being paid. I say it does not matter someone is willing to pay them.

My point to all this is to say how much do the owners make each season? Players’ salaries are listed everywhere, it is very easy to see how much each player makes and the length of their contract. I have done some reach but I am unable to find any recent information on how much the owners make each season from the NBA. I am not saying the information is not out there but I know this information is not easily accessible. If an owner is willing to pay out $100 million in salary each year and some pay more than that plus luxury tax one has to wonder how much are they making in profit. Being an NBA owner has to be lucrative because the return on investment is good, it is an exclusive club and people are lining up to become an owner.

I say all of this to say instead of judging how much a player makes and how much a player deserves to make we should be looking at it as there are no losers in the NBA. The NBA has become in my opinion the most popular American professional sports league, unlike other sports professional basketball players are recognized around the world. The money associated with the sport is secondary to the entertainment. For the players get your money and as Cuba Gooding Jr. said in Jerry Maguire “Show Me the Money.”