WATCH: Common on NBA Teams Dropping ‘Owner’ Title: ‘Nobody Owns Us’

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Rapper Common told TMZ that he is pleased with the NBA for moving past the title”owner,” a term he believes is “inconsiderate” considering the history of slavery in the United States.

The NBA has recently begun talks about doing away with the term and replacing it with “chairman,” or “governor.” The issue gained traction after Golden State’s Draymond Green voiced displeasure about the term being used in an episode of LeBron James’ HBO series The Shop.

TMZ broke the story that the league was taking Green’s concerns seriously last week.

Common was asked for his comments on the subject by TMZ at the famous Sushi restaurant Matuhisa in Los Angeles. The rapper and Chicago native praised the move.

“I’m so pleased,” he said. “The term owner — it didn’t sit right with me.

“The history of what we have and we are as black people in this country … it’s just not really being considerate of the history.”


Since Draymond Green brought the issue up on The Shop last year, at least two NBA teams have moved away from the term.

As Breitbart’s Warner Todd Huston writes:

Steve Ballmer, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, is now called the ‘Chairman’ of the team instead of the owner. And the Philadelphia 76ers now have ‘managing partners’ instead of owners. Co-owners are called ‘limited partners.’

The league itself has also apparently changed its term for team owners. A note from the league informed TMZ that owners are called ‘governors’ in official league meetings. And the NBA calls the collective owners its ‘board of governors.’

The change is not yet universal in the NBA, though. The Golden State Warriors’ Joe Lacob, for instance, is still listed as ‘owner.’

“Nobody owns us,” Common concluded. “These men are professionals.”

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn


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