The NBA Should Learn From the NFL’s Blunders


The NBA got lucky. Really lucky. At least from a business stand point.

Overshadowing two owners losing teams in a matter of four months because of racist comments is the NFL–once again dominating the news cycle.

Instead of Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry’s face being plastered on splash pages, it’s Roger Goodell’s.

Instead of playing the audio of his comments saying Luol Deng has ‘a little African in him’ networks are playing the video of Ray Rice striking and knocking out his then-fiance in a casino elevator.

And the NBA is on the cusp on the biggest television contract in league history. Even with two owner scandals, and possibly more to come, the NBA is going to blow up.

Meanwhile, the NFL could realistically lose its grip as the most popular league in America. And what league would be there to take over? The NBA, of course. Because at least the NBA acts quickly. Even if you don’t agree with commissioner Adam Silver’s defense of Ferry, at least it didn’t take him five months to make up his mind.

Look at the Donald Sterling situation. Silver took a stand and forced an owner to sell his team and separated the NBA from a bigoted owner. Meanwhile, the NFL is seemingly standing together in some sort of cover up of either…

A. Having seen the full Ray Rice video before TMZ leaked it, or…

B. Complete ineptitude by Goodell and his goons.

Still, a racism issue for the NBA could be the worst kind of scandal for a primarily black league. For a league that almost saw a team boycott a playoff game because of an owner’s comments. For a league that was originally held back because of racism, and then blew up when it embraced different races.

Silver should be applauded for his handling of the Sterling situation, but rumors of a potential scandal involving soon-to-be-former-Hawks owner Bruce Levenson have swirled.

Silver, I urge you not to follow in the foot steps of Goodell. Do NOT be primarily concerned with your public image. Rather, do the right thing. Yes, ousting Sterling was the right thing AND the right business thing. That was an easy decision, and so is separating your league from any other prejudiced owner.

Goodell, however, is only concerned with the image of the NFL. Even if it means lying and insulting the general public by lying. We are too smart these days. We will figure it out if you are lying. Adam, if you forced Levenson to sell the team, tell us.

Transparency is a magical thing, but don’t hide your tricks from us.

If you want to do the right business thing, Adam, do the right thing.