Often, in response to some over-the-top statements by players, we read on social media that “sports and politics should remain separate.”. Now it has happened again, sports and politics have mixed: the Orlando Magic have become the first NBA franchise to make a donation to a politician’s campaign, viz. Ron DeSantis, Republican candidate in the 2024 presidential election.
La DeVos family, owners of the Magic, donated $50,000 to DeSantis specifically through the franchise. Almost a one-off (the Suns had donated about $10,000 between the 1990s and 2000s to Republicans) that is already causing much discussion, not least because the politician in question, former governor of Florida, is controversial to say the least. Very close to super-conservative Catholic positions, DeSantis is, for example, opposed to abortion after 15 weeks gestation, has very dubious positions on climate change, opposes gun regulation in the U.S. and public health care.
DeSantis will face Donald Trump in the Republican Party primary and then eventually be a candidate for U.S. President.
The Orlando Magic have donated $50,000 to Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis’ Super PAC.
It’s the first time the DeVos family has used its NBA franchise to financially support a candidate for president. pic.twitter.com/JrkDJhYLCm
– Front Office Sports (@FOS) August 1, 2023
All the while, almost simultaneously, Jonathan Isaac has launched a clothing line that purport to be “anti-woke,” or anti all those positions deemed progressive. The Magic wing, who returned to the court last season after an absence of more than 2 years before re-injuring himself, had caused much controversy in 2020 when, in the Orlando “bubble,” he decided not to kneel during the national anthem. Over the years then Isaac’s conservative positions, like DeSantis very Catholic, have undoubtedly been clearer.