Major Company Gives up Suite at NBA Games Over National Anthem Kneeling

Brightly lit Basketball backboard in a large sports arena.

Finally! A company with morals, ethics, patriotism, and a spine. SME Steel Contractors out of Salt Lake City, Utah, has just given up their suite at the Jazz games. Why? Because of the players’ decision to kneel during the National Anthem. They have asked the NBA franchise to “put a stop to all disrespectful actions during the anthem and remove the Black Lives Matter logo from the arena.”

They wrote a letter on September 9th and then sent it to the franchise owner Gail Miller stating: “The recent actions of the NBA—including the owners, coaches, and players of the Utah Jazz—have converted a beloved entertainment venue into a forum for dissemination of political propaganda which is divisive and completely out of step with our company and its values.” Exactly right.

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SME has verified that they wrote and sent the letter. The feedback they have received over their response has been “overwhelmingly positive.” People are fed up with this disrespectful Marxist insanity. “We have received emails and letters from individuals and companies throughout the country thanking us for standing up for the country, the National Anthem, and the idea that sporting events do not need to be a venue for forcing controversial political views on patrons,” SME general counsel Mark Wilkey said.

At the beginning of this year’s season, the NBA decided to go all-in for social justice, painting “Black Lives Matter” on its courts and allowing players to wear custom messages on their jerseys, including “Anti-Racist” and “Say Their Names.” Jazz players knelt during the National Anthem before the first game. The franchise then issued a statement in support of their atrocious actions, stating their commitment to “advancing social justice.”

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This ticked SME off along with the rest of the Jazz fans. They brought it up in their letter. They said that while they were “disappointed” to see the NBA season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, “that disappointment pales … to the feelings we experienced when NBA games ‘restarted’ on what appears to be a billboard for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.” Man, I love this company.

“To say the least, it is ironic that pampered and exceptionally well-paid athletes cavalierly exercise their freedom bought for them through the courage and sacrifice of this nation’s servicemen and women by disrespectfully kneeling during the country’s anthem,” the letter said. SME went on to accuse the NBA of ignoring “true heroes like Chris Kyle and Pat Tillman” while promoting “names and tributes for felons.” Truth hurts.

This was no minor thing for SME. They had licensed the suite for 28 years, paying roughly $6 million in ticket fees and at least $1 million for food and beverages. The letter went on to say that the company was “personally involved in the fabrication and erection of steel for the venue now known as Vivint Smart Home Arena,” calling the Jazz a “source of camaraderie, community pride and top-tier sports entertainment (regardless of the wins and losses).”

This company is one of the largest fabricators/erectors of structural steel in the United States and was founded in 1992. They employ as many as 1,300 people and have had more than $450 million in peak annual revenue. It is not a small business just as this is not a minor issue.

Jazz coach Quin Snyder happens to sit on the NBA’s committee for racial-justice reform and has knelt with his players during the National Anthem. But in a confusing move, he contributed $1,000 to GOP congressional hopeful Burgess Owens who is black and has criticized Black Lives Matter, calling it a “Marxist organization.” The coach got intense blowback for the donation and Burgess hotly defended him. I’m kind of unclear where Snyder stands at this point but there is no excuse for kneeling and supporting BLM.

“How much do ‘black lives matter’ to the people upset that a good man donated to the states ONLY BLACK CANDIDATE running for Congress, because he disagrees with their stance on BLM Inc.,” Owens said in a Sept. 11 tweet. “Do black lives only matter when they think how you tell them to?” A very good question.

The franchise is refusing comment at this point. They are going broke just as the other franchises promoting this nuttery are. Perhaps they should regain their senses and find their voice before it is too late because with companies ditching them such as SME, they are not long for this world. Just think about how the fans feel.


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