The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) released a statement Thursday regarding a political contribution by the Orlando Magic organization.
The statement comes after Orlando Magic LTD donated $50,000 to Never Back Down Inc., which describes itself as a “grassroots movement to elect Governor Ron DeSantis for President in 2024.”
“A political contribution from the Orlando Magic is alarming given recent comments and policies of its beneficiary,” the NBPA said Thursday in a press release.
“NBA governors, players and personnel have the right to express their personal political views, including through donations and statements. However, if contributions are made on behalf of an entire team, using money earned through the labor of its employees, it is incumbent upon the team governors to consider the diverse values and perspectives of staff and players.
“The Magic’s donation does not represent player support for the recipient.”
According to the Federal Elections Commission, the donation from the Magic listed the “receipt date” as June 26.
A Magic spokesperson clarified that the check was dated and delivered on May 19. DeSantis announced his intention to run for president on May 24.
“To clarify, this gift was given before Governor DeSantis entered the presidential race,” the Magic spokesperson said in a statement. “It was given as a Florida business in support of a Florida governor for the continued prosperity of Central Florida.”
DeSantis has been scrutinized over the past week after the Florida Board of Education recently approved a new curriculum for African American history, with a section on how “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit,” causing Democrats and even some Republicans to criticize the curriculum.
“They decided middle school students will be taught that enslaved people benefited from slavery. They insult us in an attempt to gaslight us, and we will not stand for it,” Vice President Kamala Harris said during a recent speech in Florida.
DeSantis appeared on “The Faulkner Focus” Wednesday and defended the curriculum.
“I’m fighting back against false narratives,” DeSantis said. “I do not let people like Kamala Harris or the media take false narratives and run with them. We will stand our ground, and we will speak the truth”
Fox News’ Hanna Panreck and Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.