JUSTICE

Longtime suite licensee pulls support from Jazz, NBA over Black Lives Matter

Sep 23, 2020, 4:27 PM | Updated: 4:55 pm
Utah Jazz masks...
File: The Vivint Smart Home Arena is shown Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY — An organization with members that helped fabricate the steel used in construction of what is now known as Vivint Arena, and which has licensed a full suite to all Utah Jazz games since 1992, says it’s ending that relationship over the Black Lives Matter movement. 

In a letter dated September 9, 2020, the CEO, Owner, President, and VP of Finance of SME Steel Contractors laid out their concerns to the Jazz and Miller.

The company notified the Utah Jazz and owner Gail Miller that it will not renew its licensing agreement or make further payment until “the NBA and its franchises again offer sports and entertainment rather than divisive political propaganda.”

RELATED: Former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has died

“Our disappointment and disillusionment with the recent actions of the NBA — including the owners, coaches and players of the Utah Jazz — are almost beyond expression,” the letter states.

“We have been stunned to see the entire Jazz team kneeling during the playing of our country’s national anthem.”

On June 29, 2020, ESPN reported that the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association would paint the words “Black Lives Matter” on the courts of all three arenas on which the NBA would play within the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, upon resumption of its abbreviated 2020 basketball season.

This move was a direct result, according to ESPN, of NBA players who wanted to use their platform to speak in favor of social justice and racial equality, a subject which roared back into the public spotlight on May 25, 2020. That day, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was videotaped kneeling on the neck of George Floyd. The video shows that Officer Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for more than seven minutes.

Floyd did not survive.

In their letter to the Jazz and Jazz owner Gail Miller, SME Steel Contractors said the NBA restart in Orlando “appears to be a billboard for the “Black Lives Matter” movement.” SME bemoaned, also, the practice of placing slogans and names on the NBA player jerseys.

RELATED: Daughter of Utah Jazz great Stockton to play in Germany

“It seems odd and inappropriate for NBA players to adorn their jerseys with names and tributes for felons and politically-divisive slogans from Black Lives Matter, when true heroes like Chris Kyle and Pat Tillman go unnoticed and unremarked.”

The letter ends by SME advising the NBA and the Utah Jazz to “put a stop to disrespectful actions during the anthem and remove the Black Lives Matter logos from the arena.”

Otherwise, SME says it will not utilize their suite, or make further payment, or renew its licensing agreement.

The Utah Jazz declined to comment.

 

Today’s Top Stories

Justice

centerville arson fire...
Curt Gresseth

What’s behind random acts of violence in Utah?

What's behind a recent spate of random violence in Uta?. A sleeping couple at home in West Valley City is stabbed by an intruder. A stranger enters a home with three elderly people in Centerville and burns it down. Greg Skordas, KSL legal analyst breaks down what he thinks is motivating young people to commit random acts of violence.
3 days ago
An Iranian woman on top of a car bonnet sets her headscarf on fire in central Tehran during protest...
Jessie Yeung, Ramin Mostaghim, Jomana Karadsheh, Mostafa Salem and Jennifer Deaton

Iranian women burn their hijabs as hundreds protest death of Mahsa Amini

The death last week of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, arrested in Tehran by morality police has sparked an outpouring of anger over a range of issues.
4 days ago
pro life utah abortion...
Simone Seikaly

Pro-Life Utah responds to latest abortion questions in Utah

The Pro-Life Utah advocacy group said they stand behind Utah lawmakers who claim that most abortion services in Utah are currently outlawed.
9 days ago
A crowd gathers in front of the Utah State Capitol on Friday, June 24, 2022, to protest the U.S. Su...
Elizabeth Weiler

Utah lawmakers clarify position on abortion trigger law after sending cease and desists to abortion providers

The letter signed by 22 lawmakers argues that even though the trigger law is on hold, abortion is still illegal.
9 days ago
FILE - In this March 6, 2020, file photo, Lori Vallow Daybell glances at the camera during her hear...
REBECCA BOONE

Judge considers barring cameras from Idaho mom’s murder case

A judge might bar cameras from being in the courtroom stating that broad news coverage could make it hard to seat a jury.
9 days ago
"Photo: GraphicStock...
Curt Gresseth

Eagle Mountain accidentally pays cyber-hacker over $1 million

The city of Eagle Mountain was duped into paying a cyber-hacker more than $1 million. Posing as the vendor working for the city on an infrastructure project by hacking into an ongoing email thread, the swindler victimized Eagle Mountain.
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Longtime suite licensee pulls support from Jazz, NBA over Black Lives Matter