Stephen A. Smith was in rare form on his radio show over the NBA publicly acknowledging that it has moved away from using the term "owner" to describe the majority shareholder(s) for their respective teams.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke with TMZ Sports last month about how a number of teams have stopped using the word "owner" over concerns that the title can be seen as racially insensitive. Silver supported those teams' actions, but revealed that the league got rid of that term "years ago," and replaced it with words, like "Governor,” and "Alternate Governors."
"I don't want to overreact. You'll find the word throughout memos over the last decade in the NBA," Silver said. "I am sensitive to it. I think to the extent teams are moving away from the term, we'll stick with using 'Governor.'"
Smith is entitled to his own opinion about the league’s use of the term "owner," and you may feel like the ESPN personality is making some decent points, but it's important to note that Silver didn’t take this course of action just because he was personally "sensitive" to the use of the word. He was acting in a way that he felt reflected the overall concerns expressed by the players he represents.
During an episode of the HBO show The Shop last year, Golden State Warriors star forward Draymond Green suggested that the title stopped being used in the league to a group of people which included LeBron James, who didn't object to his opinion.
Green and James probably aren't the only ones who feel this way.
Less than two years ago, the NFL held a meeting among the league's owners about forcing players to stand for the national anthem in the wake of Colin Kaepernick's protest, which drew the controversial remark from Houston Texans owner Bob McNair where he stated, "We can’t have the inmates running the prison."