A study released this weekend reveals the vast majority of political donations made by NBA owners go directly to the Republican Party.
According to The Ringer study, almost 81 percent of donations made by the 30 owners of the National Basketball Association supported the GOP.
The Ringer procured the data from the Federal Election Commission. It shows that NBA owners gave $14.9 million to the Republican Party. Furthermore, five of these NBA owners have directly contributed to the current administration’s reelection campaign. The owners include the Los Angeles Lakers’ Jim Buss, Orlando Magic’s Dan DeVos, New York Knicks’ James Dolan, Houston Rockets’ Tilman Fertitta, and San Antonio Spurs’ Juliana Holt.
On the surface, this seems antithetical to the supposedly progressive stances adopted by the NBA owners. Publicly, the owners have supported the Black Lives Matter movement, players kneeling during the national anthem, social statements on the back of players’ jerseys and social justice.
Popular owner Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks who also stars on the ultra-successful reality show “Shark Tank,” said NBA owners generally contribute to those causes or individuals whom they believe will help increase their bottom line.
“I strongly value my independence,” Cuban said in an email, according to Sports Illustrated. He says he doesn’t donate to political causes but says the other owners are fiscal conservatives who are progressive when it comes to social issues. “I talk to owners and players who are ‘conservative’ when it comes to financial issues but simultaneously very ‘liberal’ when it comes to social issues.”