When Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn came to the U.S. after years of captivity in the USSR, he professed amazement at how U.S. journalists who had exhibited cowardice when in the Soviet Union were posing as courageous lions of the press in the more congenial setting of the United States. I get the same feeling about the National Basketball Association.
The NBA poses as a beacon of woke liberalism when it comes to U.S. politics. Yet, it kowtows to the tyrants of China.
There’s a difference, though, between the journalists Solzhenitsyn held in contempt and the NBA executives. The journalists feared for their physical well being in the Soviet Union (we can’t all be Solzhenitsyn). The NBA execs are fearful only of losing money.
The problem isn’t confined to frauds like NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and other executives. Players who are incensed when a police officer shoots a man who attacked him, and who rail against “mass incarceration” in America, seem untroubled when Chinese police or their stooges in Hong Kong violently attack peaceful protesters and when China incarcerates a million Muslims.
Houston Rockets star James Harden, with teammate and fellow star Russell Westbrook standing next to him, said “we apologize to China, you know we love China.” The apology was for tweets by Houston’s general manager supporting Hong Kong protesters.
No one should care what an NBA player thinks about politics or world affairs. But since many take these guys seriously when they opine about such matters, it’s fair to call them out when they express their love for China and apologize for expressions of support for pro-democracy protesters.
Sen. Marco Rubio nailed it in this tweet:
I thought the @NBA was proud to be the “wokest professional sports league”?
I guess that only applies to speaking out on American politics & social issues.
I guess so.