Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that it only took one tweet to prove that the NBA clearly cares more about pissing off the communist regime of China than they care about pissing off their own fanbase in the United States where 29 of their 30 teams currently reside.
Last Weekend, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey posted a message of support for those protesting in favor of democracy in Hong Kong.
Morey’s tweet read: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”
Hong Kong has been in a state of siege for weeks over protests which began over an extradition law but has largely become a fight against state oppression, preservation of freedoms and independence in China. After Morey made the tweet, the Chinese Basketball Association (also known as the Chinese Government) decided to suspend all business dealings with the Rockets. Shortly after, both the Rockets owner and the league threw Morey under the bus in order to please their communist overlords.
The league then released a statement condemning Morey in an attempt to please the Chinese Government.
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
The apology was swift but as Warner Todd Huston points out, there is a huge problem with the hills that the NBA decides to die on. This is the same organization that moved their All-Star game away from the city of Charlotte shortly after the state purposed a transgender bathroom bill but rushed to apologize to a communist government who is feeding them millions. The same league that decides to ban the term ‘owner’ deeming it to be offensive to black people but will side with a nation denying the human rights of its citizens for a buck. The same league that has made itself the face of progressive politics in the world of sports at the cost of it’s right of center fanbase suddenly loses their will to fight for democracy against a country that none. As Clay Travis pointed out, many prominent left-wing figures in the NBA such as Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr, Lebron James, and others who have no problem condemning Trump, conservatives, and speaking against right-wing issues in the media all have been oddly quiet regarding their thoughts on China.
Golden State Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr, who is always vocal to support a left-wing narrative or condemn gun activists suddenly claims he doesn’t have the knowledge to speak on the issue of the NBA and China.
“What I’ve found is that it’s easy to speak on issues that I’m passionate about and that I feel like I’m well-versed on and I’ve found that it makes the most sense to stick to topics that fall in that category,”
China has since proceeded to canceled a pair of exhibition games involving Houston’s G-League affiliates that were set to be played later this month. The country is taking a zero-tolerance on any criticism of its regime, even going as far as to ban an episode of South Park which criticized Hollywood for selling out to China for money. Even Disney finds itself in the middle of the NBA/China battle because as the company owns ABC and ESPN, neither network has taken a harsh stance on the country. China is a major market for Disney films espcially the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Disney networks are accused of keeping quiet to avoid upsetting the Chinese government and closing that market.
The NBA, it’s players, and it’s coaches show a strong backbone against their own country but buckle in the sight of a conflict against a foreign oppressive empire.