DeSantis Responds to NBA Players Union Criticizing Orlando Magic's Donation to His Super PAC, and It's Perfect

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

In May, a few days before Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for president, the NBA’s Orlando Magic made a $50,000 donation to the Never Back Down super PAC, which is supporting DeSantis in his White House bid. The donation recently came to light after the Federal Election Commission posted fundraising information on its website.


The donation was perfectly legal and completely understandable. The Magic are owned by the family of former Trump Education Department Secretary Betsy DeVos.

“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.”

But the NBA players union was upset. They like to forget that the NBA is not a woke social service agency but instead, a multi-billion dollar industry.

“A political contribution from the Orlando Magic is alarming given recent comments and policies of its beneficiary,” the National Basketball Players Association said Thursday.

“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.”


So the team has to get the permission of its black Democratic Party-affiliated players to make a political contribution? DeSantis had the perfect comeback to the player’s complaint.

“It appears the NBA took a break from protesting our anthem and bending the knee to Communist China to chirp about my policies,” DeSantis wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

How true.

One of the best and most popular NBA players in history, LeBron James, ignited a firestorm of controversy when he defended the Chinese Communists for coming down hard on the-Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey who tweeted in support of the protesters in Hong Kong and the NBA issued an apology. James said that Morey was “either misinformed or not really educated on the situation.”

In truth, Lebron’s criticism of Morey was an indication of just how beholden the NBA and its better players have become to their masters in Beijing.

NBA player Enes Freedom (formerly Enes Kanter) became Lebron’s harshest critic of the league’s China policy. Mr. Freedom grew up in Turkey and has been a strong advocate for freedom for Hong Kong.

The Hill:

“Money over Morals for the ‘King,’” Kanter tweeted alongside photos of sneakers painted with what appears to be an illustration of Chinese President Xi Jinping placing a crown on James.

“Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice,” Kanter wrote. “They really do ‘shut up & dribble’ when Big Boss says so,” he added along with an emoji of China’s flag.

He also called out James, who has a lifetime deal with Nike, for overlooking the company’s alleged practices in China.

“Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research?” Kanter wrote.


It should go without saying that NBA players are hardly in a position to advocate for representing an entire organization when making a political statement. I don’t remember any company meetings called by the players to discuss kneeling for the anthem.


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