The Return of the NBA
I’ve tried to bite my tongue about the impending return of the NBA. I wanted to wait until the deal was signed, sealed, delivered before I voiced an opinion but waiting is killing me. All I can say is: about damned time. The NBA and its players exhausted resources, ruined it’s already cracked image and the people who were affected most had no say in the matter.
The simple fact of it is, in the long run the lockout didn’t hurt the players or the owners. It was the arena workers who really lost.
We’re in a time where work stoppages are all too commonplace in sports. Leagues and their players have grown too comfortable with the support that they receive from fans, media and sponsors. The NBA’s monopoly of professional basketball is what allows it to survive. The arena work staff, the ticket takers, ushers, security guards and vendors who can’t afford a work stoppage are the ones who lost. The team that I work for shares an arena with an NBA team and the game day staff could only talk about how they were fighting for hours and looking for other work in an already thin job market. These are the people that make your game day experience. These are the voiceless people who lost big and will reap no benefit from the new collective bargaining agreement.
There is often talk of the ways that professional sports exploit brown bodies, but rarely does this conversation come around to the game day staff who labor tirelessly in the bowels of arenas and stadiums across the country. This lockout has been frustrating because we’re having a conversation about the job security of millionaires and the financial security of billionaires while the have-nots are in fear of losing jobs that barely keep their heads above water in the first place.
That, I think is the most positive aspect of the return of basketball. That these workers will no longer suffer through this.