The Orlando Magic's $50,000 donation to the presidential campaign of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis drew the ire of at least one NBA player and was considered "alarming" by the National Basketball Players Association
According to ESPN, the donation to a super PAC supporting DeSantis' election campaign was discovered in recent federal filings. A Magic spokesperson told ESPN the donation was made May 19, with DeSantis announcing his candidacy thereafter
The NBPA is at odds with a suggestion made by DeSantis that Black people benefited from slavery. DeSantis spoke after "Florida's State Academic Standards -- Social Studies, 2023" were released. Page 6 of the standards suggest: "Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.
"They're probably going to show some of the folks that eventually parlayed, you know, being a blacksmith into, into doing things later in life," DeSantis said last month
The NBPA stated its objections
"NBA governors, players and personnel have the right to express their personal political views, including through donations and statements," the NBPA said in a statement Thursday. "However, if contributions are made on behalf of an entire team, using money earned through the labor of its employees, it is incumbent upon the team governors to consider the diverse values and perspectives of staff and players
"The Magic's donation does not represent player support for the recipient.
The New Orleans Pelicans' Larry Nance Jr. gave his take on the situation in a social media post Wednesday
"So the @OrlandoMagic who have a majority black roster, a black head coach, and a black GM decided it was a good idea to support a man that claims that slavery had personal benefits for the enslaved?" Nance posted
The NBA released a neutral statement on the situation Wednesday
"Team governors make their own decisions on the political contributions they make and we respect the right of members of the NBA family to express their political views," the NBA said
The late Richard DeVos was the owner of the company that purchased the Magic in 1991. He was the father-in-law of Betsy DeVos, the former secretary of education under President Donald Trump
--Field Level Medi