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NBA Teams Dropping Term 'Owner' Because Of 'Racial' Overtones

Jeff Katz
June 04, 2019 - 11:04 am

At least two NBA teams have done away with the term "owner" because it could be considered racially insensitive, according to TMZ Sports.

The Los Angeles Clippers have done away with Steve Ballmer's title as owner. Instead, Ballmer is listed as the team's chairman on its website, a change that TMZ believes occurred in early 2018.

The Philadelphia 76ers also dropped Joshua Harris' title as owner and changed it to managing partner. And the team now describes its co-owners as limited partners.

Other basketball teams have reportedly held serious talks about getting rid of the term that some say "feels racially insensitive" in a league where the majority of the players are black.

The issue has reportedly been talked about for some time, but last fall it gained traction when Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green appeared on LeBron James' HBO show, "The Shop" and argued against using the word.

"You shouldn't say 'owner,'" Green said. "You should say, 'majority shareholder,' or something like that."

Joe Lacob is listed as owner and CEO of the Golden State Warriors on its website.

To this point, the NBA has not made any efforts to force teams to stop using the term owner.

In a statement to TMZ Sports, one NBA spokesperson said, "We refer to the owners of our teams as Governors; each team is represented on our Board of Governors."