Craig Sager's Son Calls NBA 'Whack' For Supporting Black Lives Matter

The son of the iconic late NBA reporter Craig Sager has hit out at the league's support for Black Lives Matter, suggesting the NBA's political stance ran the risk of denting basketball's profile as a global game.

In the wake of George Floyd's death on May 25, several NBA players joined protests against police brutality and racial discrimination. Last month, players and teams reiterated their commitment to social change, with the Milwaukee Bucks boycotting Game 5 of their playoffs series against the Orlando Magic to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

The NBA has been largely supportive of the players, allowing them to take a knee during the national anthem and wear social justice messages on their jerseys, while the Black Lives Matter logo has been displayed on the court in all the venues hosting games in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida.

Craig Sager II, however, criticized the league's approach.

"The NBA is whack and it has nothing to do with my dad being dead & everything to do with black lives matter," he tweeted on Thursday morning.

The NBA is whack and it has nothing to do with my dad being dead & everything to do with black lives matter.

— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) September 10, 2020

Sager II followed up his initial tweet by suggesting the NBA's relationship with BLM threatened basketball's profile. "Last time I checked it [basketball] was a global game", he wrote.

In a subsequent tweet, he explained he was not afraid of any backlash his statement may cause.

"I'm not afraid of twitter. Go ahead. Cancel me," he added.

Sager Jr. was swiftly rebuked by his sister, Kacy, who questioned the wisdom of attacking the NBA, a sport he has alleged not followed for years.

"You haven't watched the NBA in years, Craig," she tweeted.

"Why pop back in now just to spew this nonsense? What does this even mean? And why drag Dad into it?"

Why can’t I tweet my opinion?

— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) September 10, 2020

During a career that spanned almost five decades, Sager senior was one of the most recognizable faces of sports broadcasting, covering the NBA, MLB, golf and the NFL for an array of stations, including CNN, TBS, TNT and NBC. His best-known role, however, was that of sideline reporter for The NBA on TNT, which landed him a Sports Emmy Award nomination in 2012, four years before his death.

Sager was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia shortly before the 2014 NBA playoffs and underwent three bone marrow transplants in the following two years, before succumbing to illness in December 2016.

Sager Jr. filled in for his father as a sideline reporter during his absence in 2014 and acted as the donor for the first transplant. However, a little over 12 months after his father's death he revealed he and his siblings had been excluded from Sager's will.

"Nothing like getting served, pestered by Sherrifs & taken to court over a Will that myself and my sisters are not only 100% excluded from but do not even have any interest in contesting in the first place. Thanks Dad," he tweeted in 2018.

Sager Jr., along with his sisters Kacy and Krista, were born from Sager's first marriage to Lisa Gabel, which lasted from 1980 to 2002, when the broadcaster married his second wife Stacy, with whom he later welcomed children Ryan and Riley.

Craig Sager, NBA
Legendary TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager talks with Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. Ronald Martinez/Getty