Basketball Or Nothing


drug references, mild bad language

This six-part Netflix documentary series follows a high school basketball team from Arizona’s Navajo Nation, as they compete to win the state championship.

Key classification issue: drug references

Alongside the basketball team’s exploits, Basketball Or Nothing also explores the hardships that many people, including children and teens, face on the Navajo Nation reservation. One of these challenges is the prevalence of drugs, and the associated impact their use and dealing can have on young people’s health, wellbeing and future.

In episode two, there is a scene in which a man explains the growth of crime in the area, which is tied to drug misuse and alcohol abuse among young people. He leads the camera crew to a bridge frequented by people dealing or taking drugs. We are shown drug paraphernalia scattered on the ground and told that the use of ‘meth’ is on the rise.

It is unlikely that scenes of drug misuse will appear at PG, but we are concerned about what knowledge is conveyed in verbal or visual references. Our duty is to protect vulnerable audiences from potential harm, so material relating to drugs at PG should be innocuous, discreet, or have clear aversive messaging.

Although these references are impactful, there is no detail on how the drugs are taken, no sight of them being used, and the context is wholly cautionary and aversive. The speaker concludes by imploring young people to stay in school and avoid getting involved in criminal activity and drugs.

The aversive messaging is clear and the drug content is infrequent, especially when the series is taken as a whole. It is ultimately lifeaffirming, inspiring and has value to young audiences, and so we classified it PG for drug references, mild bad language