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New York Pelicans: Larry Nance Jr. Lambast Magic Over Donation To Pro-DeSantis Group

The Magic donated $50,000 to the group, per the FEC

New Orleans Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. needled the Orlando Magic for the organization’s apparent donation to a super PAC that supports Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ bid for president.

The Orlando Magic LTD donated $50,000 to Never Back Down Inc., which describes itself as a “grassroots movement to elect Governor Ron DeSantis for President in 2024.”

The Federal Election Commission had the “receipt date” listed as June 26. A Magic spokesperson clarified that check was dated and delivered on May 19. DeSantis announced his intention to run for president on May 24.

“So the @OrlandoMagic who have a majority black roster, a black head coach, and a black GM decided it was a good idea to support a man that claims that slavery had personal benefits for the enslaved?” Nance wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Orlando Magic LTD donated $25,000 to DeSantis in 2022 and Democratic Florida State Sen. Geraldine Thompson in 2020, according to Dan DeVos is the chairman of RDV Sports, which owns the Magic. The founding partners of the organization, the late Rich and Helen DeVos, were the in-laws of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who served under President Trump.

A spokesman for the Magic told USA Today the team doesn’t “publicly comment on political contributions.”

The Magic made the clarification later Wednesday.

“To clarify, this gift was given before Governor DeSantis entered the presidential race,” the Magic spokesperson said in a statement. “It was given as a Florida business in support of a Florida governor for the continued prosperity of Central Florida.”

DeSantis announced his intention to run for president on May 24.

DeSantis was scrutinized after Vice President Kamala Harris, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., and others claimed Florida’s school curriculum teaches students that slaves in the U.S. “benefited from slavery,” an accusation the DeSantis administration has fiercely denied.

The Republican governor appeared on “The Faulkner Focus” Wednesday and defended the curriculum.

“I’m fighting back against false narratives,” DeSantis said. “I do not let people like Kamala Harris or the media take false narratives and run with them. We will stand our ground, and we will speak the truth”

The sentence that sparked controversy said “instruction includes how slaves develop skills, which in some instances could be applied for their personal benefit.”

DeSantis said the passage is not being interpreted fairly.

“This was done by Black history scholars, most of whom are Black themselves. They are not shilling for slavery. They are showing the injustice of slavery. But that particular passage wasn’t saying that slavery was a benefit. They were saying there was resourcefulness and people acquired skills in spite of slavery, not because of it. And then they used those when they achieved their freedom,” DeSantis explained.

The Florida Republican called out Harris specifically, arguing she endorsed an AP African-American history course that was rejected in Florida due to concerns about Marxism and other left-wing ideology.

“It had the same exact provision. And you’ve seen that same basic provision has been in other curricula. Nobody ever said anything, and indeed nobody said anything about this. These guys put this together in a public fashion and there were comments,” he added.

“When we eliminated critical race theory, people lied then saying we didn’t want to teach about the history of African Americans. In reality, that same bill required us to develop even stronger standards, and that’s why this working group was created.

“So, they did a good job. I think it’s wrong to demagogue people,” he said, adding that critics picked one passage out of hundreds of pages of “painstaking” details about Black history.

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