The National Basketball Players Association on Thursday said that a $50,000 donation made by the Orlando Magic to a super PAC supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign was “alarming given recent comments and policies of its beneficiary.”
“NBA governors, players and personnel have the right to express their personal political views, including through donations and statements,” the NBPA statement said. “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 statement comes after DeSantis made comments supporting Florida’s new African American history standard that says some Black people benefited from slavery.
The Magic’s donation to the super PAC became public in recent federal filings and Magic chief communications officer Joel Glass said in a statement that it was made on May 19 — a few days before DeSantis launched his presidential candidacy.
“It was given as a Florida business in support of a Florida governor for the continued prosperity of Central Florida,” Glass said.
“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 Wednesday.
The DeVos family has owned the Magic since 1991 and has long been a factor in Republican circles. Betsy DeVos served as secretary of education under former President Donald Trump.
“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 in a statement.