New York, NY—As the NBA gets ready to jump-start its season up in Orlando next month in a bubble, the league has reportedly laid off an estimated 100 employees, according to a report from Alex Silverman of Morning Consult.
In a statement emailed to the publication, NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said, “We are restructuring certain functions at the league office to better align with changes in our business, particularly around digital media, and be well-positioned for future growth.”
One that was affected by the layoff was Mark Fischel who was the league credentialist for NBA & WNBA All-Star Games, WNBA Playoffs, and PR Events.
Most of the black media outlets are speculating that Mr. Fischel was laid off due to his handling of credentials relating to black media outlets obtaining access to major events but nothing is confirmed.
There has been a grave disparity for years of how credentials have been dolled out for certain publications. With the BLM movement, black publications are now more vocal on this matter and on the lack of access they receive as it relates to their white counterparts.
Two weeks ago NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sent out an internal memo to the NBA office expressing his views about the current climate in America; “Together with our teams and players, we will continue our efforts to promote inclusion and bridge divides through collective action, civic engagement, candid dialogue, and support for organizations working toward justice and equality.
Black publications want to know, when the commissioner talked about promoting inclusion, bridging divides, civic engagement, and supporting organizations to work towards justice and equality, was it directed towards them as well or just a sound bite for ratings.
“We are being reminded that there are wounds in our country that have never healed,” Silver said. “Racism, police brutality, and racial injustice remain part of everyday life in America and cannot be ignored.”
If NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Vice President of NBA Communications Mike Bass are truly serious about rectifying racism within the NBA, they need to stop passing the buck down the chain like in years past and grant access to qualified black publications, the same privileges they afford others.
“This moment also requires greater introspection from those of us, including me, who may never know the full pain and fear many of our colleagues and players experience every day. We have to reach out, listen to each other, and work together to be part of the solution. And as an organization, we need to do everything in our power to make a meaningful difference.” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.
We shall see down the road if it was real or Memorex.