Multiple NBA teams reportedly move away from the term “owner”

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In a move that could place pressure on the NFL to follow suit, some NBA teams are considering getting away from the longstanding label that applies to the people who own NBA teams.

TMZ reports that at least two NBA teams have done away with the term “owner” within the past year, and that other teams have discussed making a similar change.

“You shouldn’t say owner,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said last year on HBO’s The Shop, via TMZ. The thinking is that the term “owner” in a league predominantly consisting of African-American players is racially insensitive.

In the current politically correct vs. politically incorrect cage-match climate, as many will strongly agree as will strongly disagree with that notion. We’ve begun the process of exploring whether to employ an alternative term in reference to NFL owners; the problem in some cases is that a team has an owner and, separately, a CEO or a chairman. The goal would be to find a term that reflects the status of the person who is the principal decision maker and primary holder of equity interest, without having to type out that many words every time.

69 responses to “Multiple NBA teams reportedly move away from the term “owner”

  1. I work at a store. The store has an owner… every business has an owner, not just sports franchises. What a world…

  2. Team Principal. Instead of fines they can hand out detentions. “That’s going on your permanent record, young man…”

  3. The problem with this “cage match” and the upcoming comment war is that they don’t care what you have to say and you don’t care what they have to say. All in all this discussion is an exercise in futility, go spend time with your family.

  4. That’s just plain dumb. Isnt the perfect, simplest term for a person who owns a team, an owner? How can players, who make many millions of dollars, be offended by that?

  5. While I think this is a tad ridiculous, I think if they really wanted to change it, the least drastic change would be “Holder.” Same amount of synonyms, rhymes, similar amount of letters, and doesn’t have quite as much of a domineering connotation. And according to a dictionary definition search, it is the most common alternative to “owner”, at least from the top search of Google.

  6. By extension then, I presume every single “owner” of any business, company, corporation, shop, etc. in this insane politically-correct country of ours should also no longer be called “owner.” What then? Proprietor?

  7. But doesn’t NFL rules demand a singular person as “owner”? Whereas NBA and the other “Big 4 Sports Leagues” allows corporate ownership?

  8. This cant be real can it? This has nothing to do with slavery lol. The term “owner” is there because he “owns” the franchise……
    This crap is getting out of hand

  9. I’ve seen a lot of people using the title “Principal” instead of CEO or president lately. It sounds British and that means classy!

    , Principal sounds good.

  10. It must be exhausting applying hate to everything you see and constantly believing you’re a victim.

  11. Trying to understand why my comment was censored, let’s try rephrasing.

    You get paid millions of dollars to bounce a ball and put it in a hoop.

    No one who has to actually work just to survive respects your statement.

  12. So a guy or girl purchases an NFL or NBA team. Hires a management team, leases a stadium, pays all the bills assumes all the risk but they cant be called an owner because they have minorities or african americans in their employ and the term is racially insensitive?

    How completely assinine is that?

  13. Of course the term “owner” is insensitive.

    It clearly has plantation slavery overtones, and the situation isn’t helped any by the behavior of some of the team holders.

    Of course, the word “holder” is problematic too, inasmuch as it has “jailor” connotations.

    Quite obviously the only solution is to eliminate private ownership altogether and make each team a public utility.

  14. Is it April 1st? This has to be a joke. You buy a car you’re an owner. You buy a sports franchise you’re an owner! If these athletes don’t like the term,being an employee of your owner,you are free to quit your job and find another line of work at another company which by the way has an owner.

  15. I’m a card-carrying lefty, and I think this is silly. I don’t like agreeing with all the people I’m going to wind up agreeing with over this.

  16. So, I have a company where I have the most shares so I’m the President. I have employees who like the NFL are predominately non white. It doesn’t matter to any of them what I call myself provided they are given a safe place to work and a steady income. The people who I employ know who I am and more importantly, know who they are and not one of them feels owned. These other people can call themselves principals or proprietor and it still means the same thing, owner.

  17. Formula One uses Team Principal for the person in charge of the racing program. Now, in most cases this person “answers” to someone else, but it’s as good a term as any if you’re going to eliminate “owner”. No other term can possibly be as apt as “owner”, so whatever is chosen will not be as descriptive. Team Proprietor is about as far as my thinking takes me beyond Principal.

  18. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says:
    June 3, 2019 at 10:08 pm
    My reaction to this proposal can best be summed up by the one-word answer from U.S. General McAuliffe to the German’s surrender demand during the 1944 siege of Bastogne: “Nuts!”
    Just wondering if you were actually there to hear him say this?

  19. What if we call the repugnant folks who enslaved and exploited other human beings something else, and allowed owner to continue to mean what it means in literally every other context? That would be a fun and therapeutic naming contest

  20. Man, we truly do get offended on everything. Maybe its a good problem to have that we are so comfortable as a society (obviously not everyone) that we can sweat the small stuff.

  21. Then maybe the OWNERS might feel awkward calling them players…lets call them EMPLOYEES or workers..and my favorites, REPLACABLE, expendable subcontractors. This #meToo generation is so lost SMH

  22. I’m a black man and this makes me laugh a little. My mom was the owner of two daycare centers and not once did any of her employees who were majority African American have a problem with her label.

    She even had a article written about her in the Black Enterprise magazine. In the article they pointed out she was the owner of the two businesses. The word owner is normally accompanied by something like business, franchise, store, etc… Unless owner is accompanied by slave or something else ridiculous you’re just making up reasons to be upset.

    It’s a little bit of stretch to think the owner of franchise really thinks he owns you as a person because of his title. He does however own your rights when it comes to you playing basketball in the NBA. You also signed a contract agreeing to that though. You obviously still have the option to not play in the NBA at all though. Slaves didnt really have the option to not be slaves. Let’s not over think this people

  23. Any comparison between the situation of a slave and that of a professional athlete literally paid millions of dollars to play a game is necessarily both appallingly ignorant of history and incredibly insulting.

    Every business has an owner. Obviously if the people working for that business get paid and have the choice to leave, they’re not slaves.

    When you make victimhood a virtue, people actively look for ways to declare themselves victims.

  24. Cue all the rural, conservative reactionaries with hurt feelings over more inclusive language in 3, 2, 1…

  25. Makes sense. I’ve been sleeping on the couch, so I now call my “wife” roommate. When she’s not around I call her something more profane.

  26. I’m not a black man or professional athlete, so I’m not at liberty to say what they should and shouldn’t consider racially insensitive. That said why not just be more specific when referring to the person by calling them “Team Owner” since the title implies specific ownership.

  27. “The goal would be to find a term that reflects the status of the person who is the principal decision maker and primary holder of equity interest, without having to type out that many words every time.”

    Uh, they have a word for that, it’s called “Owner”.

  28. If you really think about it, this makes no sense at all. The owner represents the business interests that he/she is responsible for and certainly doesn’t own the GM or the players the team contracts. An owner’s greatest power is voting within the league.

  29. Not surprised because the NBA let’s their players walk all over them. I’m sure none of minority “owners” are pioneering this change. Defeats what they worked so hard to accomplish.

  30. Ahahahaha! I’ve heard many dumb things in life, and admittedly am only 28 so have only heard so many dumb things. However, this LITERALLY may be the single dumbest thing I have ever heard in my entire life! I’m going to tell my boss I don’t like calling him my “boss”, because it implies he is my, well, boss! Just like the word “owner” implies they are the teams owners! How offensive!!

  31. It’s a PC overreaction, but to simply say “team owner” should be sufficient for Draymond. The guy owns the team, not the players.

  32. Good Lord! We have devolved so badly that the term “Owner”, when applied to someone who does in fact “Own” something, is now offensive? Grow a set and remember no one today ‘Owned” another person, ever. Get over yourselves already.

  33. They own the team, not the players. The players are employees, just like employees of any business. Why is this even an issue?

  34. okcuc says:
    June 3, 2019 at 10:19 pm
    But doesn’t NFL rules demand a singular person as “owner”? Whereas NBA and the other “Big 4 Sports Leagues” allows corporate ownership?

    No. The Bucks have multiple owners (Wed Edens and Marc Lasry) as well as a few other teams.

  35. Well, since blacks are over represented on teams, there is an easy way to remove racially misinterpreted terms – fire blacks to reduce their participation level to the general population percentage. The NFL and NBA are the worst offenders of the over reliance on black athletes; since quotas and other devices are used to achieve racial balance when it suits blacks, then lets start imposing the same standards upon them when it doesn’t. Let’s here the whining begin. Of course this would be justice and right to use the left’s standards, but this really means that racial harmony is entirely built upon a foundation made of sand. Now pound it.

  36. What could possibly be racially insensitive about owner??? What’s next, are they going to have a problem with putting a bunch of black men on a stage and letting these owners decide who picks which? What could possibly be awkward about that?

  37. If I owned a team I guess I’d give myself the title of God.

    Last time I checked a pro athlete can break their contract, pay back bonus money and walk away anytime they please…if the term owner offends maybe brush up on your history and explain to me the difference.

  38. Could this issue be any more ridiculous? In a world where 75% of the NFL players are African Americans, and where many players make more in one or two games than a whole lot of, if not most of, their fans will in a lifetime of working, slavery? Really?

  39. nba trying to get attention anyway it can. Viewership is down along with the quality of play. The start up football league had the same amount of viewers as Houston- OKC game. They are allowed to travel – hop, flop around like soccer players, whine, they have moving screens, grabbing jerseys on defense. It is just an ugly game today.

  40. I am sorry in advance, But If you pay me what they pay Draymond you can call me a slave. If I am being insensitive to people who wear slaves I apologize, its just that it is so much money. It would change generations of my family for the better.

  41. I think this is stupid and I generally side with the players on most things. Let’s not go crazy lamenting this as a sign that our country is going down the drain because of “political correctness”.

    Our world is vast and complex and now everyone has a voice. And so we get to see how stupid so many people actually are.

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