NBA’s Surrender To China Shows Money Still Talks Louder Than ‘Social Justice’

China-trump-xi-trade-deal cheatsOver the weekend, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey sent out what would seem to the average person to be a pretty innocuous tweet: “Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong.”

Morey was voicing support for the ongoing pro-democracy protests taking place in the city. He certainly wasn’t expressing an uncommon opinion — American politicians on both sides of the aisle have also praised the historic protests. But China didn’t like Morey’s tweet. Presumably acting upon the demands of the Chinese government, Chinese businesses began pulling their NBA sponsorships, and Chinese broadcasters and streaming platforms threatened to stop airing NBA games altogether.

The NBA acted quickly, issuing one statement in English apologizing to China for Morey’s “regrettable” statement and one statement “translated” into Mandarin which articulated something entirely different, according to ABC News — that the NBA was “extremely disappointed” with Morey’s “inappropriate” tweet that “severely hurt the feelings of Chinese fans.” Two of Morey’s best players on the Houston Rockets, James Harden and Russell Westbrook, also came out and publicly apologized, insisting, “We love China.”

Morey, of course, deleted the tweet and did what is typically required of sinners against social justice here in the United States — he genuflected towards the powers that be, offered a humiliating apology, and all but begged for the preservation of his career. But in this case, Morey wasn’t sinning against social justice, he was sinning against the powerful Chinese government, a brutal authoritarian regime that imprisons, tortures, and murders political dissidents, religious minorities, and anyone who dares promote democracy. Troublingly, this dictatorial power now appears to extend even into the U.S., with Morey’s public admonishment likely to have a chilling effect on any future high-profile criticism of the Chinese regime.

But while China’s actions were to be expected, the NBA’s response was far more surprising. After all, the NBA in recent years has been carefully working to craft the opposite brand — of a league committed to doing the right thing, to standing up against tyranny, to defending the rights of the downtrodden and the disenfranchised.

It was this supposed commitment that has led the NBA to increasingly throw its weight behind progressive political causes in recent years, most notably the transgender rights movement. In 2016, for example, in response to the passage of a bill in North Carolina which made public bathroom usage contingent on biological sex, the NBA helped lead a corporate bullying campaign against the state. Joining with companies like PayPal, Bank of America, and Adidas, as well as musicians like Ringo Starr, Bruce Springsteen, and Pearl Jam, the NBA threatened to boycott activity in North Carolina (in particular, pledging to move its All-Star Game from Charlotte), hoping that the economic blackmail would force the state government to repeal the legislation. Although the campaign was only partially successful, the league has since threatened to boycott other states over similar legislation.

However, as we are now seeing, it is much easier to jump aboard the crowded progressive bandwagon, criticize token conservative laws, and bravely face the applause of American elites than it is to face down a tyrannical Chinese regime when significant money is on the line. But while the NBA’s rapid capitulation this weekend in the face of Chinese pressure was discouraging, it was also a helpful reminder of the league’s true priorities. No matter what actions the NBA may take here in the U.S. to promote various issues, one can be sure their first concern is what it has always been: dollars and cents. After all, if league executives truly cared about seeing justice done, would they not stand up to one of the world’s most notorious human rights violators?

The NBA, of course, isn’t alone in all of this, even if this particular example of cowardice is glaring in its egregiousness. American corporations are increasingly marketing themselves as moral standard bearers of woke capitalism — rainbow-colored logos during “Pride Month,” public announcements of discontinued gun and ammunition sales after mass shootings, and even needlessly disavowing the American flag — but they are willing to embrace this newfound progressive morality only to a point. Profit is still the driving motivation. The HBO series “Silicon Valley” brilliantly mocks this by portraying tech executives constantly bragging about their primary motivation being to make the world a better place, only to see them succumb to avarice faster than you can say “buyout.”

Ultimately, these corporations are not loyal to their professed moral standards, or to American ideals about liberty and democracy, or even to basic human rights. They are loyal to earning a profit for their shareholders, or in the NBA’s case, its 30 team owners, and are willing to prop up even the most evil foreign governments to “earn” it.

Scratch a woke corporate progressive, find just another wealthy boss most interested in the bottom line. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised in the end.

Reprinted with permission from - Conservative Daily News - by Terry Schilling

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11 months ago

Can we stop using the new usage for trendy words like WOKE? The English language has sufficiently let us explain ourselves without the silliness of incorrectly using a perfectly good word just for drama, and at least 3 times in every paragraph.

11 months ago

NBA = No Balls, Ah-so

11 months ago

Not surprising..wrong is right…right is wrong..Everything is turned around and backwards. Morals…integrity…what has happened to this country and many others ?
Narcissism and money have taken over…for now anyway.

11 months ago

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

11 months ago

This is the most grievous action by the NBA or really any American sports organization representing our USA. To what end will we sell our soul. Shame on us for our lack of loyalty to our freedom. We may pay a severe price for our arrogance. A very large, human price was paid for our freedom.

11 months ago

I am not in a position to speed for the NBA but I will no longer attend an NBA game or watch one of their games on TV. That’s what I can do. It appears they would sell their soul for money.

Dr. Covert
11 months ago

Amen. We need to stand up for the people who are going through difficult times. God is still alive and well.

11 months ago

I was never a big fan of the NBA except during the Chicago Bulls Championship run under Michael Jordan. I will now actively boycott them.

R shoemaker
11 months ago

Who cares! The NBA is filled with spoiled brats. Intelligent people watch golf. The NBA will never see a penny of my money or take any of my time. Years ago, my CPA had center seats two rows up for the Kings. He offered to drive, pay the parking, our snacks, and provide the seats. I told him thanks but I had better things to do with my time. He ultimately gave up the seats as he wasn’t getting enough of his clients who were interested.

11 months ago

The NBA is full of over paid inner city dwellers that have no values or sense of values. The same goes for the league’s ownership and management.

11 months ago

It appears it’s fine for the NBA to bully, taunt and threat North Carolina over social issues – however, it appears the almighty dollar couldn’t get any higher on “THEIR” totem pole. Although China is a Communist bully, somehow I’m enjoying the NBA (and their millionaire crybabies) vacillating like the hypocrites they are.

11 months ago

I cannot believe the NBA’s reaction to, what almost everyone supports, cheering those who want FREEDOM! I’d have hoped the NBA would have had to guts to stand up to China but, as you point out, money talked. I will no longer subscribe to the NBA channel, watch or attend ANY NBA games, and continue to hope for democracy in Hong Kong.

Gray Wolf
11 months ago

Dear NBA
You’re whores!!

Stephen Russell
11 months ago

wonder how big China lobby is?? Issue not like kneeling for flag, BUT dictating to NBA? I say boost tariffs on China more.
Gutless NBA, & odd Teams & players wont speak out?
Need Chinese yuan??
Market share?
Need 1 whole NBA team composed of Chinese in the US?

Robert J. White
11 months ago


11 months ago

Anti-American NBA follow NFL- disrespect for the US & its’ citizens!

Maybe they should ALL move to China??

11 months ago

Sadly for a huge number of people in the greedy world money is the ONLY thing that talks!!! We have two epidemics working to bring this country down…the opioid epidemic and the greed epidemic. Those on drugs just want more, more, more and those who already have more money than they could spend n ten lifetimes just want more, more, more!!!

Oren Player
11 months ago

Who cares? It’s another example of the PC morons attempting to force their agenda on us. As far as the NBA goes, it is totally irrelevant. I cannot tell you when if ever I have watched any of their games.

Ed J
11 months ago

Political correctness (an oxymoron in itself), the wimp factor at many levels of society, and personal financial self interest before and above all else are alive and well throughout the country, and unfortunately proliferating at seemingly a geometric rate. We are well on our way to achieving universal dystopia in America.

11 months ago

As recently as thirty yrs ago the main thoroughfares in china were a sea of chairman mao suited people on bicycles and rickshaws. Then a decision was made to ‘invest’ in china. This was explained in high minded terms: by building up a middle class there we would ensure peaceful coexistence. All we had to do was give up our manufacturing capacity. Oh, the fact that the elites would become filthy rich via this approach had nothing to do with it. This was supposedly a smart geopolitical move. I guess im just a rube in flyover country, but to me… Read more »

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