38% of fans watch less NBA because it is ‘too political’, poll shows

LeBron James
Photo: Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports

Despite the high anticipation of the NBA return amid the coronavirus pandemic, the ratings of the world’s best basketball league continue to fall.

The first round of the playoffs saw a 27% decrease in ratings as reported by Bobby Burack of OutKick. It is an even higher drop compared to the 2017-2018 season – 40%.

One of the main reasons behind this appears to be the NBA becoming more and more political. According to a recent poll, 38% of sports fans said they are watching less NBA games because the league is too political.

Per Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes:

A new Harris Poll backs Trump’s critique of the NBA, with 39% of sports fans saying they are watching fewer games. And the chief reason why? Politics. The longtime polling agency surveyed nearly 2,000 people over the weekend and gave those who identified as sports fans—two-thirds of the total—ten options to choose from on why they are watching less basketball.

“The league has become too political” was the clear choice, with 38% of respondents who identified themselves as sports fans. “Boring without fans” captured 28% of the vote while the NBA’s association with China caused 19% of sports fans to turn the dial, another nod to a league Trump labeled a “political organization” last week after players boycotted games in response to a police officer shooting Jacob Blake seven times in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin.