If you’ve been reading my articles for a while, you will know that I am a big basketball fan. My favorite NBA team is the Miami Heat, followed by the Portland Trail Blazers as I have lived in both cities in the past. Though I do not often talk about it because the basketball world and the world of politics do not intercept very often, when they do, I feel the need to speak at least to some extent.
Some time ago, for example, I discussed what Golden State Warriors Forward Draymond Green said regarding racism in America and pointed out that we are in a far better state racially than before if people have to make up racial attacks.
But recently, another political moment can be found in the NBA when Houston Rockets’ General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted out his support for the pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. He simply tweeted a graphic that said: “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.”
As a result, many Chinese businesses, including the Chinese Basketball Association, and the Chinese government “quickly denounced Morey and moved to sever ties with the Rockets,” according to The Ringer.
It should be noted that this is particularly important because the Rockets have a lot of fans in China given that one of the team’s best players in franchise history was Yao Ming, a former Chinese basketball player and the first Chinese player taken with the first overall pick in the NBA draft. It’s perhaps because of this that Morey had to backpedal so quickly regarding his comments, but I doubt it would’ve made much of a difference had any other NBA executive done the same.
The Chinese government is utterly dictatorial and threatened to boycott the Rockets in China, which would mean damage to the team’s and the NBA’s bottom line. The tweet, which has since been deleted, reportedly prompted Rockets ownership to debate whether or not to fire Morey as a result.
NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass issued the following official NBA statement: “We recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable. While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league support individuals’ educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them. We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together.”
What a load of crap. The NBA only cares about people’s political beliefs when it aligns with their own. They have no problem with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, Warriors coach Steve Kerr or Lakers franchise player LeBron James lambasting and attacking President Trump, but the minute an NBA executive shares PRO-DEMOCRACY beliefs aimed at the situation in Hong Kong, that becomes a problem and his job is put into jeopardy.
The NBA does not have any values at all. They consider themselves a bastion of morality when they pull the All-Star game out of Charlotte because of the transgender bathroom law (and no, that wasn’t moral either) but utterly cower to the whims of a dictatorial regime that has killed tens of millions of people due to Zedong’s “Great Leap Forward” and that currently imprisons millions of people for being Christians or Muslims.
These are not values. This is whoring yourself out for Chinese money. It’s utter hypocrisy and the NBA deserves every bit of the criticism it’s receiving State-side.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) tweeted: “So let me get this straight. Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey expresses support for Hong Kong democracy movement & Chinese government pressures NBA to fire him? Moment of truth for NBA. Will they bow to pressure from repressive, authoritarian govt?”
He followed that up by tweeting: “Chinese govt has a million people locked in concentration camps & is trying to brutally repress Hong Kong demonstrators – and NBA wants to ‘bridge cultural divides’? Cultural divides?”
He wasn’t alone in his criticism of the NBA. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted: “As a lifelong Houston Rockets fan, I was proud to see Daryl Morey call out the Chinese Communist Party’s repressive treatment of protestors in Hong Kong. Now, in pursuit of big $$, the NBA is shamefully retreating.”
He added: “We’re better than this; human rights shouldn’t be for sale & the NBA shouldn’t be assisting Chinese communist censorship.”
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) piled on, tweeting: “It’s clear that the NBA is more interested in money than human rights. Tonight’s statement from Commissioner Silver is an absolute joke. The NBA is kowtowing to Beijing to protect their bottom line and disavowing those with the temerity to stand with Hong Kong. Shameful!”
Federalist co-founder Ben Domenech also tweeted: “I hope a player, just one, is brave enough to speak out against this corporate [b.s.] bending of the knee.”
Considering the NBA fines players for even slightly criticizing bad referee calls, I doubt they would allow for players to speak out against the Chinese communists without getting a fine, so I don’t see any player speaking out against this crap.
But the NBA isn’t just getting criticism from the Right or from conservative news media. Sports analyst Clay Travis tweeted: “ESPN is set to broadcast from China this week. The woke league with the woke broadcasting network. All shilling for Chinese communists. Y’all think they’ll say anything at all? Ha ha. The hypocrisy is crazy. When the NBA pulled out of Charlotte, ESPN praised them to high heavens.”
TIME columnist Ian Bremmer also tweeted: “I get the NBA not wanting to side with Hong Kong because it’s politically uncomfortable. But apologizing to the Chinese dictatorship against the democracy they’re repressing? As an American sports league? That’s unconscionable.”
Vox’s Aaron Rupar, a far-Left columnist, also piled on, tweeting: “This is a hostage video. What an embarrassment for the NBA.” He was referring to Daryl Morey having to tweet out a two-tweet apology for his stance.
Even Barack Obama’s old speechwriter Ben Rhodes tweeted: “Just consider that the NBA is suggesting that supporting democracy and human rights ‘does not represent’ the NBA or the values that the league supports. What values does the league support?”
It’s a huge deal when I read a Ben Rhodes tweet and don’t feel like throwing up. I honestly have nothing to argue with here, because I wholeheartedly agree with Rhodes. In doing this, the NBA is suggesting that the support of democracy and human rights is not something the NBA wants to attach itself to simply due to the bottom line.
It’s utter corporate shilling at some of its worst. I have no doubt in my mind that the NBA would’ve found no trouble working with Nazi Germany if it meant turning a profit there. China is doing much of the same thing, sending people to concentration camps, many of whom likely die there, and utterly represses its people to the point where expressing any non-state approved thought is bounds for some sort of punishment.
The NBA has no values, only pretends to have them when it will give them good PR and some sort of profit. Standing against the banning of men inside women’s restrooms is perfectly okay in their eyes. Standing in favor of democracy and human rights is troublesome when in the context of China denying said democracy and human rights.
It’s utterly despicable, and while I understand the NBA is a business and it will always try to do what’s best for business, that doesn’t excuse this. Any money the NBA receives from China ought to be considered dirty, perhaps even bloody, money, given what the authoritarian government does to its people.
Interestingly, though, this puts the NBA in the precise position it didn’t want to find itself in: jeopardizing profits.
If even Aaron Rupar and Ben Rhodes, some of the farthest-Left people on Twitter, are siding against the NBA, what exactly does that mean for the NBA in the States? Could be that some people, particularly Rockets fans, choose to boycott the NBA themselves as a result. And if so, depending on how long it lasts and how big that boycott is, it could lead the NBA to lose more money than they would’ve otherwise.
The NBA hosts a few pre-season games in China with a number of teams, not even all of them. But while the pre-season nets them a good amount of money outside the U.S., the NBA only has 2 pre-season games scheduled in China out of a total 79 games in the pre-season schedule. And the regular season has 82 games per each team (totaling 2460 total games played in the regular season for all teams combined), all of which are played in the United States (except for the Toronto Raptors, who play 41 games in Toronto, Canada).
If a boycott of the NBA were to happen in the States, that would matter a whole lot more for the NBA’s bottom line than a Chinese boycott of the NBA.
But regardless of what happens, whether any boycott of the NBA happens whatsoever, it’s pretty clear that the NBA is full of utterly spineless cowards, even down to Morey himself. He easily could have kept the tweet supporting the Hong Kong protesters and explaining in a follow-up tweet that he has to make it clear that that is his own view and belief and they don’t necessarily reflect the team or the NBA, but nope. He was forced to apologize and mention that he had to consider “other views” on the matter.
The other view, in case one can’t tell, is support of the murderous, dictatorial regime that clearly has a lot of power on the NBA (it’s not helped by the fact that the Brooklyn Nets’ new owner is Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai).
The NBA should be utterly ashamed not only of trying to silence an NBA executive for saying something they disagree with, which is utterly un-American, but also for kowtowing to the Chinese communists out of fear of lost profits.
The NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver are the very corporate cronies their supposed ideology hates.
“Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it completely. Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.”
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