The NBA will use law enforcement and former special operations forces for security at the bubble in Orlando.
What We Know:
- According to Tim Bontemps of ESPN, the NBA informed players on Thursday that they will use “local, state and federal law enforcement, plus former special operations forces, to secure the bubble in Orlando”. League sources say that law enforcement will not be inside campus buildings, they will only be used to secure the perimeter.
- League security will keep all venues closed to non-credentialed individuals. There will be security checkpoints and roving security at every location in use. Florida Highway Patrol will escort buses to and from arenas and Orange and Osceola County Sheriff’s Offices will be present at hotels and arenas.
- Social media networks will also be monitored for threats by Walt Disney security, league security, and the Department of Homeland Security. Former special-ops forces personnel will supplement league security for any off-campus events.
- There is pushback against these security protocols within the league. The Players Association executive director Michele Roberts expressed her concerns about the ideas back in May. “Are we going to arm guards around the hotel? That sounds like incarceration to me,” she told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
- No NBA players have commented on these announced plans yet. However, many players, such as Russell Westbrook and Demar Derozan, have been active in the protests against police brutality following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks.
- Many Twitter users pointed out that the league’s plan is hypocritical and tone deaf. The NBA previously stated their solidarity with Black Lives Matter and supports players who choose to protest.
using law enforcement in this moment to "protect" a majority black league is so tone deaf. there is no bubble if disney employees are allowed to come and go without testing, why is the league pretending by adding cops to the situation https://t.co/4kKdPqPJuD
— Haley O'Shaughnessy (@HaleyOSomething) June 25, 2020
the NBA: we're listening and learning
also the NBA: we will surround our predominantly Black talent with law enforcement https://t.co/Ur74SfBPTB
— Isaac K. Lee (@IsaacKLee) June 25, 2020
NBA players: “defund the police”
The NBA: “Here are some cops for the next three months” https://t.co/tzWbc7Zlz6
— Duncan Smith (@DuncanSmithNBA) June 25, 2020
With the coronavirus surging in Florida, the NBA has to take every precaution available to ensure the completion of its season and the safety of its players. However, having more police in the bubble doesn’t make it seem safer.