NEW YORK — The National Basketball Players Association on Thursday called a report that the Orlando Magic contributed to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' political action committee "alarming."

The statement by the union for the NBA's players does not mention DeSantis by name, but it follows a column by the Orlando Sentinel's Scott Maxwell that said that the Magic contributed $50,000 to DeSantis' PAC.

“A political contribution from the Orlando Magic is alarming given recent comments and policies of its beneficiary," the NBPA's statement said.

"NBA governors, players and personnel have the right to express their personal political views, including through donations and statements. However, if contributions are made on behalf of an entire team, using money earned through the labor of its employees, it is incumbent upon the team governors to consider the diverse values and perspectives of staff and players.

The Magic’s donation does not represent player support for the recipient.”

The Magic did not immediately respond to a request from Spectrum News in Orlando for comment. According to the Sentinel, the team said the check was issued to the DeSantis PAC on May 19, the day after some news organizations reported that DeSantis would announce his presidential candidacy. DeSantis officially declared his candidacy May 24 on Twitter.

According to the Sentinel, Magic Chief Communications Officer Joel Glass told Maxwell, "the team donated 'in support of a Florida governor for the continued prosperity of Central Florida,' but said the club wouldn’t answer questions about where it stood on the governor’s highest-profile and most controversial policies." 

DeSantis, who is running to become president of the United States, has pushed changes to Florida's education policies that have changed the way issues involving African American history is taught in public schools, including teaching that slaves learned skills they could use later.

According to the 2022 Racial and Gender Equity Report issued by UCF's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, 82.4% of the NBA’s players in the 2021-22 season were people of color and the percentage of players who were classified as Black or African American in the league was 71.8%. Magic coach Jamahl Mosley and newly appointed General Manager Anthony Parker are Black.

DeSantis also has led Florida's government and educational institutions to eliminate what he calls "woke" policies, or those encouraging diversity, equity and inclusion, and taken strong political stands against teaching about gender identity issues and on allowing people under 18 years old into drag shows. He urged the Florida Legislation to pass the Parental Rights in Education bill, also known by critics as the "Don't Say Gay" measure, and it has become law.

On Thursday, the College Board issued a statement that said, "We are sad to have learned that today the Florida Department of Education has effectively banned AP Psychology in the state by instructing Florida superintendents that teaching foundational content on sexual orientation and gender identity is illegal under state law. The state has said districts are free to teach AP Psychology only if it excludes any mention of these essential topics."

The Magic as an organization has a history of frequently promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, including events like Black History Month and Pride Nights. The Orlando Magic Youth Foundation also has donated millions to Central Florida nonprofits, many of which support underserved communities. Its employees also regularly volunteer time to Central Florida nonprofits.

Betsy DeVos, who is part of the family who owns the Magic, served as Secretary of Education for most of Donald Trump's term as president.