I am writing this open letter in the hope that when the time comes, you will vote to keep the NBA uniforms free of corporate logos.
The argument to have the logos on the jerseys is around $100 million a year. There is no other reason. A simple dollar amount that may help keep a few teams above water. For a few years anyway. But in the long run the rich teams will still be richer, and the small market teams will still be small market.
I am going to ask you to think about it in a different way. Don’t think about what the money means.
Think about what the decision itself means.
Money will come and go. Teams will make it, Teams will also lose it. in fact, they may lose a lot of it. That is the nature of money. History has shown us that there will never be enough.
Unfortunately, greed ensures us that this will forever be the case. Yes, the extra money may help ease a few bottom lines, but so would plenty of other things.
The decision will be about money. But it doesn’t have to be. What if it could mean more than that?
You have a chance to show the world that there is still hope. Hope that there can still be decisions made based on purity and integrity. Hope that some things can remain free. Hope that traditions will be honoured. Hope that not everything has a price. Hope that we can enjoy things without feeling like we are being sold something along the way.
The world is getting tired of being sold to. Tired of advertising, of TV commercials, of billboards. When we watch the NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL, witnessing athletes – doing things we can only dream of – in a uniform that has just a team name and number, we can, for a moment, escape this. We can focus on what really matters. The game, the players, the moments. Sport in America is what it is, the best in the world, because of this. Because it still retains some integrity and purity.
Because it is still just about the game.
We live in an age where there is a real danger of corporate suffocation of everything that we love. Our movies have been sold. Our music has been sold. There isn’t much left on this earth that hasn’t been sold. An audience is a commodity. We know this. We aren’t stupid. But when there is an opportunity like this, to make a real difference and stand up, not for what’s better for a hand full of owners, but what’s better for hundreds of millions of fans around the world, It’s too good to miss.
You have the chance to do something big. To say no. To make a stand and believe in the people who give you the opportunity to be where you are in the first place. Us. The fans. The people who buy tickets, hats, shirts, jerseys, bobble-heads. We want to keep it sacred. We want to keep it real. This is a chance to keep it that way.
We don’t want to watch our favourite players do amazing things while being sold something completely different. We have already bought in. We are sold on our teams, on the game, on the wins, on the sport, on the dream. You have us. Don’t sell us out.
There are many other reasons that other fans have spoken about at length. Listen to them, for these people are the ones that love the game, and will defend its integrity with a passion and intensity that burns inside every true sports fan. The fans are why this is all possible.
You have the chance to do something meaningful.
Not only for us, but for the money-driven world we live in.