NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been conscientious about putting the NBA on the right side of history and civil rights. (Unlike the NFL, for example, the NBA has no policy against players using the National Anthem at games as a moment to show solidarity.) An positive perspective on racial equality may not come as a big surprise from a white man who runs a professional sports league wherein the majority of athletes are African American. But Silver — and the NBA generally — think broadly about discrimination and equality. The NBA All-Star game was pulled from Charlotte last year because North Carolina passed a bill that was seen to discriminate against transgender people. Unlike African Americans, transgender athletes don’t dominate the NBA — so the move was less about looking out for their own than it was looking out for everyone who suffers from discriminatory policy and behavior. Bravo, NBA.
Silver told ESPN recently that he was disappointed in President Trump’s incendiary stance on immigration from certain countries whose citizens in his opinion are less desirable than, say, those of Norway. But Silver doesn’t believe things are going backward. He sees progress overall — lots of it — despite the setbacks. At least the setbacks are in the news, being talked about. Silver said:
“I tend to be an optimist. Certainly as I am reminded of the history of this country, much of it which took place during my lifetime, there has been tremendous progress, there is no question about it. Having said that, we have a long way to go.”