By Skip Oliva/Business Insider
The National Basketball Association lockout is now in its fourth month. As with the earlier National Football League lockout, there’s the classic “owners vs. players” storyline. But not all owners are the same. While the NFL goes to great lengths to maintain individual oligarchs as majority owners, the NBA is relatively laissez-faire about who can own a franchise. Many are owned by larger corporations. And there’s the Toronto Raptors, whose majority owner is…a labor union pension plan.
The Raptors are a division of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which also own the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC, and various other entertainment venues and networks. Most of MLS&E — 79.5% — is owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, known locally as Teachers’. Teachers’ is jointly funded by the Ontario teachers union and the Ontario provincial government.