NBA Referees Gathered to Protest at Disney World

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NBA Protest Disney World

Credit: Disney (left); NBA (right)

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 planned 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.”

On Thursday morning, the NBA referees were spotted gathering at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in support of the players.

@taniaganguli shares the news on Twitter.

They began their march shortly after:

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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.

Related : NBA Experience Will Not Reopen at Disney World

While the event occurred, there is reason to doubt that Walt Disney World would condone such an event. Several months ago, we shared stories about independent Trump rallies at one of the entrances to Disney World Property. 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, whether commercial, religious, educational, or otherwise, or conducting any unauthorized commercial activities, including solicitations of money or other contributions or donations.

Though the NBA, specifically the Milwaukee Bucks, is disturbed by the recent events in Wisconsin, it will be interesting to see if Disney responds in any way. Painting “Black Lives Matter” on the court is one example of authorized demonstrations and signage. However, this walk is something new.

NBA Disney Bubble Testing
Credit: iHeart Radio (left); Inside the Magic (right)

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 slowly vacate 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. 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.

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