ESPN’s Rachel Nichols dunks on NBA over lack of Ruth Bader Ginsburg tributes

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A video board showing virtual fans includes cutouts of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, center left, and the late Kobe Bryant, center right, during the first half an NBA conference final playoff basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


The NBA was noticeably quiet as the U.S. mourned the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg over the weekend.

NBA players who walked off the court in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake and mourned the loss of Congressman John Lewis and actor Chadwick Boseman appeared to be mostly silent when it came to the death of Bader Ginsburg, a champion of women’s rights.

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The Brooklyn Nets and the Golden State Warriors were at least the only two teams that tweeted out a statement on her passing. Boston Celtics forward Enes Kanter also tweeted about her death.

While the WNBA led in the tributes to Bader Ginsburg’s death, Rachel Nichols said on ESPN’s “The Jump” on Monday she was surprised to see the lack of tributes from the NBA. She said that because Bader Ginsburg had such an effect on how the NBA looks presently, there should have been more done to honor her.

“Yes, what you see on your TV when you watch the NBA is men playing basketball. But in every corner of the sport there are women. All through the league office, team front offices, training staffs, coaching staffs, and none of them, me included, would be able to do the jobs we do the way we do them if it wasn’t for Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” Nichols said.

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Most American women own a debt to Ginsberg, she said.

“Honestly, if you were an American woman who appreciates not having to ask their father or husband for permission to manage your own finances, property, health, you owe a gigantic debt to the notorious RBG,” Nichols said. “Something the WNBA recognized with a lovely video tribute before its playoff game last night.”

She said it was surprising and disappointing that the NBA did not do the same especially when it had tributes for civil rights icon John Lewis and actor Chadwich Boseman.

“If you are a league that holds equality as a core value, and I know for sure that this league does, the icons of that equality can’t be those who just helped the men that we all see on TV but those who paved the way for the women who worked right alongside them,” Nichols said. “After all, the NBA is significantly stronger because of all the women who work in it and around it. And we are all significantly stronger because a young lawyer dedicated her life to allow us to have those opportunities.”

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert released a statement on Bader Ginsburg’s death on Friday – two days before the Las Vegas Aces and Connecticut Sun played their playoff game.

“Sad to hear of the passing of an icon, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a role model, and a champion for equality for so many,” she tweeted. “Love this quote of hers: ‘Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.’”

A video board showing virtual fans includes cutouts of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, center left, and the late Kobe Bryant, center right, during the first half an NBA conference final playoff basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Aces and Sun had a video tribute to the justice on Sunday night.

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A cardboard cutout of Bader Ginsburg appeared on the fan board during the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets but it appeared to be the extent of the tributes in the league.



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