The 15 Worst Owners in Sports

Frackers, fuckers, racists and robbers – you don't need to be a bad person to own a pro franchise, but it certainly helps

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The DeVos Family, Orlando Magic
Richard DeVos Reinhold Matay/AP5/15

5. The DeVos Family, Orlando Magic

Amway. That's all anyone should have to put here. Richard DeVos co-founded Amway, cheery pyramid scheme for every climbing sub-Stepford serial neighborhood harasser in America and general font of endless grossness. But he's since begun transferring control of his various empires to his children, and together they are a giddy clan of homophobes.

Huffington Post neatly summarized the extent to which DeVos and offspring have flung millions into groups that not only want to halt civil rights for gays but roll back existing ones. To give you an idea of some of these groups, DeVos' foundation donated $235,000 to a group called The Alliance Defending Freedom, which "seeks to recover the robust Christendomic theology of the 3rd, 4th and 5th centuries." Ah, yes, think of the robust liberty that flourished from 200-400 A.D.

At the same time, DeVos' son and daughter-in-law both contribute tirelessly to turning public education into a vertically integrated commodified profit scheme, and his daughter-in-law's brother is the founder of Blackwater.

Finally, despite being a billionaire throwing millions of dollars away per year to keep punishing gays for being gay, DeVos claimed that he couldn't run a profitable sports team in the old Orlando Arena. So he dug deep in the playbook of movement conservatism and claimed that the city could make money by fulfilling an obligation to the public good by paying to make him profitable. Hence, the Amway Arena, the 12-percent privately funded $480 million facility floated by public bonds dependent on fleecing vacationing rubes. It took two years for an independent agency to rate those bonds junk. Maybe things would be different with more fans at games. Not just gay ones. Anyone.

Fun fact: Despite "struggling" to run a profitable franchise, DeVos' advertising efforts outside of greater Orlando are practically nonexistent. Drive around greater Tampa Bay and ask any one of the nearly 3 million citizens currently living within two hours' drive from the arena if they want to see a basketball game and watch them either look at you in total bafflement, explain that the USF Bulls sucked last year, or demur because they don't have time to drive to Miami right now.

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