NBA Players’ Union Takes Issue with Orlando Magic’s Donation to DeSantis’ Super PAC

The NBA basketball team, the Orlando Magic, made a $50,000 donation to Never Back Down, a super PAC supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 2024 presidential campaign. On Thursday, the NBA players’ union (NBPA) issued a statement denouncing such a deplorable decision and emphasized, “The Magic’s donation does not represent player support for the recipient.”

NBPA STATEMENT ON THE ORLANDO MAGIC’S RECENT POLITICAL DONATIONS

AUGUST 03, 2023

NEW YORK, NY, August 3, 2023 – The National Basketball Players Association issued the following statement today regarding the recent political donations made by the Orlando Magic organization: 

“A political contribution from the Orlando Magic is alarming given recent comments and policies of its beneficiary.

NBA governors, players and personnel have the right to express their personal political views, including through donations and statements. However, if contributions are made on behalf of an entire team, using money earned through the labor of its employees, it is incumbent upon the team governors to consider the diverse values and perspectives of staff and players.

The Magic’s donation does not represent player support for the recipient.”

A Magic spokesman said the donation was made on May 19, which was days before DeSantis announced his intent to seek the GOP presidential nomination.

“To clarify, this gift was given before Governor DeSantis entered the presidential race,” Orlando Magic Chief Communication Officer Joel Glass said in a statement. “It was given as a Florida business in support of a Florida governor for the continued prosperity of Central Florida.”

As NPR points out: “Ironically the Magic has a sponsorship agreement with Walt Disney World Resort (the Disney logo appears on players’ jerseys), which has been in a political and legal battle with DeSantis.” And….“The Orlando Magic is owned by the family of former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who served in the Trump administration.”

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