Fans of the Toronto Raptors often feel disrespected, whether that’s about broadcast times or opponents taking shots during the Canadian anthem. The latest target of their rage? A CBS Sports poll that didn’t include the Raptors as an option to win the NBA title:
— J.E. Skeets (@jeskeets) May 17, 2016
CBS did clarify that this poll was posted on the weekend before Game Seven of the Raptors-Heat series, but that didn’t stop the outrage. #WeTheOther (a play on the team’s usual #WeTheNorth) was trending in Canada for at least three hours Tuesday, and even Toronto mayor John Tory got in on the action, tweeting an official letter to CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus:
— John Tory (@JohnTory) May 17, 2016
That seems to be going a bit far (this is so far below McManus’ level that it’s like writing the CEO of McDonald’s about a soggy Big Mac), but Tory was the chairman and later the commissioner of the Canadian Football League during an era where it used “Our Balls Are Bigger” as a marketing slogan, so he knows a thing or two about promotional stunts. Raptors’ global ambassador Drake hasn’t weighed in yet, though. Perhaps he’s preparing another diss track?
Of course, CBS doesn’t particularly care about Canadian eyeballs, especially when it comes to TV (most Canadians can watch CBS, but they’re not counted in the U.S. ratings). They won’t need parade spots, either, as they don’t have NBA rights and don’t have a sports news show, so there’s no reason for them to cover any championship parade (apart from online, where they could just use others’ footage). Their defense of posting this poll before Game Seven’s somewhat reasonable, too, although you have to wonder why they felt the need to do that rather than wait for the conference finals to be fully determined. In the end, this is mostly a tempest in a northern teapot, but it does show how disrespected fans of the only non-U.S.-based NBA team do often feel. Other media outlets might want to approach their Raptors’ coverage carefully, lest they risk their chairmen getting further angry letters from John Tory.