The trouble started when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted in support of the people of Hong Kong who are fighting back against violent repression by Chinese authorities. The statement was not particularly controversial in the United States. However, as it turns out, like the Hollywood film and TV industry, the National Basketball Association is deriving a great deal of income from exhibition games and TV broadcasts inside China. The Chinese government reacted with typical fury against Morey’s sentiment, according to ESPN.

“China’s official basketball association, headed by Hall of Famer and Rockets great Yao Ming, said it would suspend cooperation with the team, calling Morey’s tweet ‘improper remarks regarding Hong Kong’ to which it expressed its ‘strong opposition.’ Chinese state television and Tencent — a major media partner with ESPN and the NBA in China, with a streaming deal that is worth $1.5 billion total over the next five years — then said they would not be showing Rockets games.”

Ming’s involvement raised some eyebrows in Houston. When he played for the Rockets, the Chinese born athlete was very popular with basketball fans.

Did the NBA stand firm with one of their own against Chinese tyranny, even at the cost of a considerable amount of money? Of course not. The National Basketball Association fell all over itself to kowtow to the Chinese and throw Daryl Morey under the bus. The NBA released a statement apologizing for the “insensitivity” that Morey’s tweet suggested. The statement expressed “great respect” for Chinese history and culture. At the same time the Rockets’ owner and some of the players decried his sentiment, Morey was forced to walk back his original tweet.

“1. I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China. I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation, of one complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives.”

Morey went on to tweet, “2. I have always appreciated the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors have provided and I would hope that those who are upset will know that offending or misunderstanding them was not my intention. My tweets are my own and in no way represent the Rockets or the NBA.”

The support that the NBA offered to a regime that is throwing ethnic Muslim Uyghurs into reeducation camps, seeking to commit genocide through sterilization and forced abortions, and which is setting up a dystopian surveillance state that is right out of the George Orwell novel ‘1984’ has not escaped the notice of American politicians. They reacted in bipartisan fury.

Both Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas and Beto O’Rourke, who had tried to take away Cruz’s senate seat, condemned the action taken by the NBA. Other politicians expressing anger over the NBA’s kowtowing to China included Sen Rick Scott, R-Florida, Julian Castro, Sen Ben Sasse, R-NE, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-CA. All condemned the NBA for their choice of money over doing the right thing.

The controversy over the NBA’s kowtowing to China comes at a time when the politicization of major league sports has roiled fans across the United States. The protests by some NFL players like Colin Kaepernick by kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem. The imbroglio has hurt the NFL’s bottom line, though Kaepernick, now a former player, has made millions with a Nike shoe endorsement contract.

The controversy was also fraught with irony because a recent episode of “South Park” dealt with the influence China wields on American popular culture, using its large market as a whip to force producers to follow its line. “South Park,” needless to say, has been expunged from China’s Internet streaming service.

Ordinary people are still seething over the actions of the NBA. Already people are taking to social media to call for a boycott of NBA games once basketball season starts. Hot Air speculates that professional basketball may suffer the same way that football has.

“Maybe if the league’s hypocrisy and greed are offensive enough, US fans might start treating them like China does … and do the same with the NFL, MLB, NHL, and so on.”

103 thoughts on “The NBA Kowtows to China After Pro Hong Kong Tweet

  1. Coward ignorant Marxists in the NBA! Do they even understand whats happening in HKong, do they know what this means? I think not. Just money is their god.

  2. NBA. Wow! So many heroes. How could you possibly pick a favorite team from such courageous stand up guys?
    To think people of this caliber have been raised up to emulate. And yet they talk, and talk, and talk about how special
    they are. The festival infants.

  3. What the hell is America coming to. We was once a beacon for freedom but now the way our professors are teaching our young is a disgrace. I blame our teachers for not teaching U.S.history. Maybe these teachers and professors should start looking backward to 1939 and then to the 40’s and see how Russia and China were to their people and how many of their people were still under armed. Then look what the U.S. were under armed. We were really a bad nation in comparision to these nice nations and not much has changed since then. I’m not saying we don’t make mistakes but let’s look around the world guys and thank our lucky stars we still have the middle of the country still patriotic and I’m from NY. Hillary won the popular vote,yes, bc half the country was on the dole and didn’t want to cut their nose off and lose their free meals.

  4. Wow, so hypocritical & wimpy by Adam Silver. Stand up for your country, your players and your fans! Money should not define what we as Americans stand for in this country. The NBA totally caved on
    this . I for one will not watch any NBA games this season.

  5. This is good. Now I no longer need or want to watch NBA. I will have more time to do useful things. I can cross off the NFL, NBA, Womens Soccer, and Nascar is getting close to making the list too. Mainstream media and opinion is out too. What to do with all this new found free time.…

  6. What a disgrace and embarrassment to the NBA. Trump haters Kerr and Popovich are being shown to be hypocritical phonies of the highest degree.

  7. First it was the NFL, and now the NBA, chewing off the trapped leg. (Please, MLB, keep it quiet – don’t go all “political” on us, or we’ll just have to find another way to occupy our evenings).

  8. Can’t quite decide whether I like my “bread” with or without my “circuses.” Ain’t history grand, though?

  9. Globalism is the same as worldwide censorship. Money and Power run the globe, which is exactly what globalis really means.

  10. NBA is playing with dirty money from Red China. They are too blinded to see people suffering under the communists regime!

  11. Professional sports organizations are all self serving, selfish, egotistical, asses that care nothing for fans and the athletes. It’s all about money to them. Until the fans wake up and quit supporting these idiots, they will continue to act this way.

  12. Morey, you’re pathetic, a disgrace to the human race, kowtowing to the communist criminals running China.

    Until the NBA gets rid of you, I have no use for theNBA. Just like I no longer have se for the NFL.

  13. seems enough money is never enough to some people…no integrity, no self-respect for self or for one’s country. Pres Trump needs to charge heavy fees to companies/corporations who bow to communist china and prevent freedom of speech in America…

  14. oh my how did china and the nba get along before the games were broadcast there.
    A few billion more…………greedy owners……….

  15. They do not care about tyranny and oppression, it Is the money that counts with the NBA owners and players!! Shame on you for creating a “stain our American Democracy with your backing of the Chinese government!!!! Would you do the same for the money if we, the American people, were being oppressed???????? Greed for money does not make you patriotic American!!!!!….

  16. The tweet was not a simple freedom of speech matter. It was needlessly taking sides and intervening in a internal Chinese sovereignty matter without taking into consideration the impact on others who had no say on the tweet, thus the consequences. It was a completely selfish and reckless act, completely uncalled for. It showed total disrespect for the Chinese people (who were great hosts of the NBA, who never intervened in U.S. politics, by the way) as well as his NBA colleagues.

  17. Sports. Should be for their fans. Keep politics out of the sport players organizations management your fans or your only business concerns take care of business. Your fan base is what pays your bills

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