Not all is right in the NBA’s Walt Disney World Bubble. Shortly after it was announced that several games would be delayed on the night of August 26, we learned that NBA referees plan to perform a peaceful protest on Walt Disney World property. On the morning of August 27, they began their walk.
According to @MarcJSpears,
“The NBA referees plan to walk together at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort hotel as a form of peaceful protest against the killing of unarmed black men and women at the hands of police, a source said.”
The NBA referees plan to walk together at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort hotel as a form of peaceful protest against the killing of unarmed black men and women at the hands of police, a source said.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) August 27, 2020
On Thursday morning the NBA referees were spotted gathering at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in support of the players.
@taniaganguli share the news on Twitter.
NBA referees are assembling to begin marching around the campus in support of the players who took a stand last night. “We’re here because we feel like our group is a representation of America, or what America could be. … This is not right vs left, this is right vs wrong.” pic.twitter.com/2yU5FIeyDO
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) August 27, 2020
They began their march shortly after:
NBA referees began their march against racism this morning.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 27, 2020
The congregation walked around the NBA’s Walt Disney World, and, afterward, the NBA Referees’ official Twitter page tweeted a picture stating,
Thank you for standing with us today as we rallied against the senseless shooting of Jacob Blake by the police and the systemic racism that thrives, while young black men and women continue to needlessly die. We won’t be silent.
Thank you for standing with us today as we rallied against the senseless shooting of Jacob Blake by the police and the systemic racism that thrives, while young black men and women continue to needlessly die. We won’t be silent. #EverybodyVsRacism @NBA @TheNBPA pic.twitter.com/294HH5PkX9
— NBA Referees (@OfficialNBARefs) August 27, 2020
While the event occurred, there is reason to doubt that Walt Disney World will condone such an event. Several months ago, we shared stories about independent Trump rallies taking place at one of the entrances to Disney World Property, and with that, we shared with our audience that Disney does not allow any unauthorized political gatherings and demonstrations.
On its website, the Walt Disney World Resort lists the following as “prohibited activities”:
- Unauthorized events, speeches, or use of any flag, banner, sign or other material for commercial purposes, or as part of a demonstration.
- Unauthorized solicitations of any kind, whether commercial, religious, educational or otherwise, or conducting any unauthorized commercial activities, including solicitations of money or other contributions or donations.
Though the NBA, and specifically the Milwaukee Bucks, is disturbed by the recent events that took place in Wisconsin, it will be interesting to see if Disney responds in any way. Painting “Black Lives Matter” on to the court is one example of authorized demonstrations and signage. However, this walk is something new.
Representatives from Walt Disney World have yet to make a statement on this matter, though we will update this article and Inside the Magic as more information becomes available.
The NBA has taken up residence at the Central Florida Mega-Resort since the beginning of July. As the league moved into the playoffs and teams began to be eliminated, it was announced that they would be slowly vacating the occupied hotels. Disney’s Yacht Club, for instance, was expected to reopen to Guests on August 24, with the Grand Floridian reopening on September 21, and finally, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort–the reported location of this demonstration–is set to be vacated with the close of the NBA season on October 14.