The NBA Promotes Social Justice — and Communist China
The wokest of NBA seasons is finally over as TV viewership tanks.
First, a philosophical question: If a cop-hating, money-grubbing, ChiCom-loving social justice warrior wins his fourth NBA title in an Orlando-based “Disney Bubble,” does anyone care?
That’s bad news for LeBron James and his world champion LA Lakers, but great news for patriotic Americans everywhere, who can take comfort in knowing that the NBA’s dalliance with hard-left political activism has failed. Miserably. So miserably, in fact, that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league will revisit the social justice messaging that its players and teams sanctimoniously shoved in our faces this season.
“I would say,” said Silver, “in terms of the messages you see on the court and our jerseys, this was an extraordinary moment in time when we began these discussions with the players and what we all lived through this summer. My sense is there’ll be somewhat a return to normalcy, that those messages will largely be left to be delivered off the floor. And I understand those people who are saying, ‘I’m on your side, but I want to watch a basketball game.’”
That’s all rubbish, except for the last eight words of the last sentence: but I want to watch a basketball game.
For a commish who’s supposed to be pretty savvy, Silver sure was slow to acknowledge the obvious. The vanishingly small number of Americans who still tune in on occasion do so for the same reason they always have — to see incredible athletes play a great game at its highest level. What they don’t want to see is a bunch of dim-witted multimillionaires preaching to us on issues about which they’re so embarrassingly ill-informed. Even Steve Kerr, the Trump-hating coach of the Golden State Warriors, sounded like an unhinged apologist when asked about China’s human-rights abuses: “People in China,” he said, “didn’t ask me about, you know, people owning AR-15s and mowing each other down in a mall.”
Nice non sequitur, Steve, but did you ask them about the oppression of the formerly free Hong Kongers, the “re-education” camps, the forced sterilizations and abortions, and the gulags?
Silver, for his part, had better hope James, the NBA’s best player and one of the world’s most recognizable athletes, gets the memo. After all, LeBron is the guy who took the side of a murderous and tyrannical communist regime over the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong; the guy who took the side of Marxist Black Lives Matter agitators over American law enforcement professionals.
Even so, it might be too little too late. As President Donald Trump helpfully pointed out, the league’s TV ratings were down a whopping 70% from last year. And, as sports journalist Jason Whitlock told Tucker Carlson Tuesday night, “America is not the NBA’s priority. China is. … But with President Trump’s America First agenda, this is what he’s talking about. … They’ve turned a patriotic cultural event into an anti-American protest in the NBA, and to some degree the NFL. We’ve got to put a stop to this.”
For those who care, the NBA began its slide about a year ago — October 4, 2019, to be exact. That’s when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted a short, sweet, simple message in support of a people under the boot of Chinese communism: “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”
And then all hell broke loose in the country that has imprisoned, tortured, and murdered more of its own people than any other in history. In short order, having received their marching orders from the regime of Xi Jinping, NBA players began denouncing Morey like the object of an old-fashioned ChiCom struggle session.
“I believe [Morey] wasn’t educated on the situation at hand,” James pontificated. “And so many people could have been harmed not only financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually. So just be careful what we tweet and say and we do, even though, yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that too. That’s my belief. That’s all I can say. I believe he was either misinformed or not really educated on the situation.”
One wonders what James’s level of education is about his Chinese benefactors. Does he know, for example, that the “grassroots socialism” of Chairman Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” killed an estimated 40 million Chinese from 1958 to 1962? Does he know that true Christianity and other religions are outlawed in China? Does he know that the ChiComs perform forced organ harvesting on prisoners of conscience?
Does he know anything about China, other than how much money he’s getting from Beijing?