Up to eight NBA teams say they won’t stay at Donald Trump’s branded hotels, according to ESPN, partly to avoid associating themselves with the President-elect and his brand.
The Dallas Mavericks, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Memphis Grizzlies have stated publicly that they will select other five-star hotels to host their teams on road trips this year — and at least four other teams are reportedly considering dropping their hospitality contracts.
One unnamed Eastern conference team says it will drop its contact with Trump’s SoHo hotel in New York — which Trump doesn’t own, but still carries his name — when the contact ends in 2017. That team cited the “Trump association” as their reason for switching lodging providers.
According to the Mavericks and the Grizzlies, the decision to drop Trump hotels was made during Trump’s Presidential run, and not as a consequence of his election. Over the summer, they made changes to their hotel agreements to avoid both the Chicago Trump Tower and the SoHo property.
Mark Cuban, who owns the Mavericks, and Grizzlies co-owner Marc Lasry were both big supporters of Hillary Clinton. Mark Cuban, of course, was an outspoken public opponent of the Republican President-elect — and at one time considered a position as Clinton’s running-mate.
The Milwaukee Bucks reportedly tried to make an “eleventh-hour” cancellation at Trump’s Chicago property during a pre-season trip to the Windy City, but ended up having to stay at the hotel anyway. They’ve made alternative plans for the rest of the season.
ESPN reports that several other teams are also considering dropping planned stays at the Chicago and SoHo Trump hotels. Coaches for the Detroit Pistons, the Golden State Warriors, and the San Antonio Spurs have all made public comments denouncing Donald Trump.
Detroit’s Stan Van Gundy called the President-elect “openly and brazenly racist and misogynistic and ethnocentric.”
The NBA itself has made no comment on the election, but has not stepped in to stop its teams from making political statements in the wake of the election. In July, the NBA joined teams in boycotting North Carolina over its “transgender bathroom” law, and pulled the 2017 All Star game from Charlotte.