The NBA will no longer be referring to those who own a team as owners, because it is seen as racially insensitive. “Governor” will be the new term used when referring to these individuals.
The NBA has banned the term owner, as in team owner, because it is racially insensitive and has replaced it with governor per commissioner Adam Silver. I am not joking. This is real life.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) June 24, 2019
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the NBA has been moving away from the term for years. He said to TMZ,
“I don’t want to overreact to the term because, as I said earlier, people end up twisting themselves into knots avoiding the use of the word ‘owner’, but we moved away from that term years ago with the league. We call our team owners ‘governors’ of the team and ‘alternate governors.”
Teams, such as the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers, have already stopped using the term. Their reason is that they believe it is racially insensitive in a league where the majority of players are black to use the term “owner,” TMZ reported.
Silver said he is “sensitive” to the term and that the league will stick to the the new term, “governor.”
The commissioner also said that players aren’t unanimous in their support for the change.
“Players have gone both ways. I think a few players have actually spoken out and said the greatest thing that ever happened was when Michael Jordan was able to call himself an owner. Of course, Draymond Green has been very public about the fact that we should be moving away from the term and I completely respect that.”
Is “Governor” Any Better?
It will be interesting to see if the NBA moves away from the term “governor” when they learn how problematic the new term can be seen as. Governors have been some of the most powerful racists in American history. Governor George Wallace was known as, “The most dangerous racist in America.” Governor Lester Maddox was against integration and was openly backed by the Ku Klux Klan. The term “governor” is also central to British Imperialism, which was heavily involved in slavery.
Any term can be considered offensive if enough thought is given. Calling owners of a team “owners” shouldn’t be thought of as problematic.