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NBA Teams Avoiding Trump Hotels

At least three NBA teams avoiding Trump hotels raises the conversation about how the league and its member franchises should react to the President-Elect.

According to a report by ESPN, at least three National Basketball Association teams are no longer utilizing Trump-branded hotels when they visit New York City and Chicago in part to avoid any association with the current President-elect of the United States of America, Donald Trump.

NBA Teams Avoiding Trump Hotels

The report names the Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, and Milwaukee Bucks as the three teams which have changed their lodging plans. It also states that another Eastern Conference team has made plans to find alternative lodging after this season for its visits to The Big Apple. There are also other unidentified teams who have admitted to changing their hotel plans but stated that the changes were not politically motivated.

Moves like these shouldn’t surprise fans of the NBA, which has a history of making gestures to be socially conscious. The most recent example of this priority is relocating the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, North Carolina to Atlanta as a response to North Carolina’s discriminatory bathroom law.

These teams have also had to account for the dominant racial demographic of their players and those players’ perceptions of Trump. Bucks forward Jabari Parker addressed those sentiments in a USA Today interview:

“I’m pretty proud for my owner, representing us and representing himself, and not trying to represent our organization with controversy. You don’t want to endorse hate; you don’t want to endorse racism. You don’t want to support controversy. I’m really proud we won’t be staying there because I couldn’t be comfortable being around him and his businesses. I know he’s our president. But it’s just going to take some time. And he hasn’t publicly come out with an apology for anyone or for the things he said. And I’m connected to all the ideologies he disrespects. I was named after a Muslim. My mother is basically an immigrant because she came from Tonga. Her rights as a woman — she got less pay. I’m black and he’s said some controversial stuff about black people. When it comes to me not supporting Donald Trump, it’s pretty much correlated to the things he has said.”

The Grizzlies and Mavericks have both publicly stated that the plans to change hotels for visits to Chicago and New York were made long before the election results were announced, and that the changes weren’t politically motivated. However, the ESPN report states that its sources maintain that the association to Trump and the image that doing business with such a vendor casts were part of the decision.

Whether or not these moves were motivated by political activism, the public perception that teams are avoiding any ties to Trump is something that the teams have to acknowledge. It remains to be seen whether or not that will open the doors to further political activism by individual players and teams as Trump’s tenure in The White House continues.


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