The NBA finals have come and gone and it had some very exciting moments despite the lack of crowd energy that would normally happen in these games.
The Miami Heat statistically should have been eliminated several rounds ago but instead they found themselves in the finals against the team everyone expected would be there, the Los Angeles Lakers. The Heat dispatched with team after team that was ranked higher than them to become one of the first lower-ranked teams to do so and even made a dent in the Lakers despite injury and less depth on the bench. Miami would lose the championship 4 games to 2, which considering the talent on the Lakers' side, is nothing to be ashamed of.
Most people don't know these things though and even fewer people care: Why is that?
Group economics? You mean like socialism?
The networks and the pundits out there will state a number of reasons for the relatively massive decline in viewership but for the most part I think they are trying to detract from what the real reason is. They state things such as
- competing with other sports such as baseball and football for viewers that they normally wouldn't have to since these games would normally be taking place much earlier in the year
- streaming services such as Netflix dominate tv usage
- people are more focused on news because of the election
But here is the thing: All of the articles that are painting the above picture are desperately trying to ignore what many people see as the "writing on the wall." Viewers got really tired of being lectured about social justice by millionaires crying "racism" such as when LeBron James was saying that he is "afraid for his life every time he leaves his house." It is stupid shit like this that chases viewers away when a man who is one of the richest sports celebrities of all time and makes more in a month than most people will likely make in their lives is lecturing us about how awful it is that racism is a part of life.
Then there is the fact that Black Lives Matter quickly became a reason to riot in many people's minds and that same logo that is the reason behind cities burning, people dying, and businesses and livelihoods being destroyed is featured on the court in huge letters as well as on the back of the jerseys of many of the millionaires, most of who are black, that are running around playing a game for a dream salary.
Then there was the kneeling during the national anthem, which most players did during every single game even on September 11th. By this point almost all the people who take great offense to this had already tuned out but that was the final straw for many others. I admit that I found it incredibly disrespectful and stupid at this point but I love basketball so I was one of the few that stuck around anyway.
The worst ratings for a finals game ever was game 3 in 2020, the least watched before that was game 2, and the least watched before that was game 1.
The people who want to point blame at literally anything other than what is obviously a polarizing issue such as race relations and politics being brought into sports will bring up the fact that viewership for other sports is down as well compared to last year and they are correct but the thing they hate to admit is that it is undeniable that the SJW stuff getting on the court is a huge part of the reason. For example, the NFL took a bigger step back as far as social justice preaching on the field is allowed. Their viewership is down as well, but only 14%.
It got to the point where if someone wasn't kneeling it was rare and celebrated by the people that think the disrespect for the nation is getting out of control
The drop for basketball for all the finals games averaged is down around 50% from last year. What if we were to tell the players in the NBA that they can keep doing all the political preaching, but everyone's salary will be reduced by 50%? I can guarantee that everyone would immediately agree to stand for the flag and never mention social justice again.
They wont talk about it a great deal but the top brass in the NBA have already indicated that the preachy social justice crap is going to be phased out by 2021. They know they effed up by doing this but simply wont publicly admit it. This damage may actually be really long-lasting though because will those fans who decided to boycott the sport ever come back? It's tough to say but I think that this instance will be studied in marketing and business classes in the future as what not to do to promote and sustain a business.
A great way to lose a very large portion of your hard fought audience is to interject politics and "preaching social justice" into a sport that people watch to get away from that.
I'm sure there is some credibility behind the various excuses that are being made for the drop in viewers but the fact that they do everything in their power to deny that the drop has a LOT to do with their own actions is pretty upsetting to me.
I'm still going to watch next season, but will the others come back? We'll have to wait and see!