DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 28: The Orlando Magic logo is pictured on a uniform against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on December 28, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
The Magic is owned by Richard DeVos, the father-in-law of former Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who served under former President Donald Trump. A Magic representative told Business Insider that despite what FEC records indicate, the check was dated and signed several days before DeSantis announced he was running for president.
“To clarify, this gift was given before Governor DeSantis entered the presidential race,” the representative said. “It was given as a Florida business in support of a Florida governor for the continued prosperity of Central Florida.”
DeSantis’ campaign is off to a slow start, and he has let go about a third of his staff. The governor and other Republican presidential candidates have struggled to gain traction against Trump, who still has a hold on the party despite being arraigned for the third time in four months.
The National Basketball Players Association released a statement Thursday.
“A political contribution from the Orlando Magic is alarming given recent comments and policies of its beneficiary. NBA governors, players and personnel have the right to express their personal political views, including through donations and statements. However, if contributions are made on behalf of an entire team, using money earned through the labor of its employees, it is incumbent upon the team governors to consider the diverse values and perspectives of staff and players. The Magic’s donation does not represent player support for the recipient.”
One of the Magic’s biggest sponsors is The Walt Disney Co., which has been in a yearslong fight with the Florida governor after it denounced DeSantis’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Disney’s logo is on the Magic’s jerseys as part of a multiyear agreement.
Source: Black Enterprise