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Boston Celtics 2020-2021 Season May Start Next Month — Likely Without Social Justice Messages

November 7, 2020

When will the next Boston Celtics season start?

Next month, it appears. The National Basketball Association will start its 2020-2021 season most likely on December 22, as CNN reports.

The league plans to play a shortened regular season schedule: 72 games instead of 82 games. It would mark a short turnaround for some teams as the 2019-2020 NBA season officially came to an end on October 11 at the conclusion of the NBA finals.

The league was shut down in the middle of March and resumed in July due to the coronavirus emergency. It’s unclear if the Celtics will have any fans at their home games this season.

Television ratings for the NBA finals this fall plummeted 51 percent from the previous season’s finals. Going head-to-head with the National Football League is one factor, but so is, according to some observers, disaffection among some fans concerning the left-wing messages the league and its players sent during games.

About a week before the end of the season, NBA commissioner Adam Silver gave an interview on October 4 to left-leaning ESPN, during which he addressed backlash to the pro-Black Lives Matter messages on NBA courts and on NBA players’ jerseys during this past summer and fall.

Here’s a transcript of the exchange:

 

ESPN Interviewer:  The NBA has certainly been the most visible billion-dollar organization championing social justice and civil rights. As you noted in your press conference the other day, though, that has not been universally popular. How committed are you to being that going forward?

 

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver:  We’re completely committed to standing for social justice and racial equality. And that’s been the case going back decades. It’s part of the DNA of this league.

How it gets manifested is something we’re going to have to sit down with the players and discuss for next season.

I would say in terms of the messages you see on our court, on the jerseys — this was an extraordinary moment in time, when we began the discussions with the players, and what we all lived through this summer.

My sense is there’ll be somewhat a return to normalcy. That those messages will largely be left to be delivered off the floor.

And I understand those people who are saying, “I’m on your side, but I want to watch a basketball game.”

 

The Celtics last won an NBA title in 2008.

 

 

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