The growing debate of politics in sports has taken another turn.
The Florida-based team donated $50,000 to Never Back Down, the super PAC supporting Ron DeSantis’ 2024 presidential bid. The donation was discovered within the PAC’s financial records filed earlier this week by the Federal Elections Commission.
It’s troubling because of DeSantis’ beliefs which include banning trans people from participating in middle and high school sports, banning Critical Race Theory in all Florida public schools, but also approving a statewide curriculum that allows schools to teach that enslaved people learned skills that later benefited them.
The sports world was immediately upset about the donation, and the NBPA quickly responded, calling the act “alarming” but adding that NBA employees have a right to express their political views through donating.
“The Magic’s donation does not represent player support for the recipient,” the NBPA concluded in the statement.
New Orleans Pelican Larry Nance Jr. was angered by the campaign the Magic decided to support.
“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?” he tweeted.
As the backlash grew, the Orlando Magic addressed the naysayers by saying the donation was made on May 19, before DeSantis declared he was running for president.
“It was given as a Florida business in support of a Florida governor for the continued prosperity of Central Florida,” chief communications officer Joel Glass said in a statement.
The DeVos family owns the Orlando Magic, including Betsy DeVos, Trump’s secretary of education, and have long supported Republican office runs since buying the franchise in 1991.
See how Twitter’s reacting to the $50,000 donation below.
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