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NBA caves to Authoritarian China

The “woke” basketball league’s moral preening and “social conscience” are curiously missing in action

In response to pressure by the Chinese communist regime, the Houston Rockets manager, Daryl Morey, was forced to retract comments he made on Twitter in which he expressed his sympathy for the Hong Kong demonstrators. For the past three months residents of Hong Kong, have been protesting attempts by mainland China to suppress freedoms to which that city has long been accustomed and which its residents are keen on maintaining.

The incident is symbolic for a number of reasons that transcends the craven and immediate response by the Rockets manager and one of its star players. The groveling and debasement was based entirely on the substantial financial interests at stake. Rich Lowry explains,

If you follow the NBA and missed the part where Red China stole the league’s soul, it’s only because you haven’t paid enough attention to the international business. China is a huge and growing market for the NBA. When Chinese sponsors and partners of the Rockets began to pull out, the team and the league buckled.

The NBA is striving to become an international business, similar in scope to large American corporate stalwarts like Boeing, Apple and Ford. And, like Apple and Boeing, the league has bowed to the wishes of a regime, whose power, in part, is based on suppressing freedom, that one normally associates with a thriving capitalist or free enterprise system. The Chinese community frequently uses the euphemism “socially undesirable conduct,” as a substitute for its repression for any activity, that either in the near or long-term, that could threaten the regime’s hammerlock on power.

The NBA incident is instructive on the more substantive question of how American businesses, with the support of both political parties, have prostrated themselves before China in terms of giving away American technological prowess, without protest, in order to increase their bottom line.

American companies knowingly surrendered their technological prowess to their masters in Beijing by accepting forced technology transfers as a condition for

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doing business in the country.

The bill for American corporate expansion in China has now come due in the form of a rapacious Chinese foreign and military policy, evident in its aggressive behavior in the South China Sea and Spratley Islands. The Hong Kong protests are but a piece of the larger strategic/economic and military challenges the U.S. must now face with a resurgent China, whose foreign policies are becoming increasing rapacious.

In terms of conducting business in China, the NBA is late coming to the party, but it’s kowtowing to the regime, nonetheless, exhibits all the craven behavior of American corporations that have been doing business in China for the past three decades.

The other issue raised by the NBA’s capitulation to one of the most repressive nation’s in the world, is one of rank hypocrisy. The NBA, like other professional sports teams, has adopted all the politically correct nostrums dictated to it by progressive ideologues and uncritically adopted by team owners.

The NBA used the occasion of its All Star Game played in Charlotte, North Carolina, to insert itself into the North Carolina transgender bathroom issue, all under the noble guise of “equality” and promoting “social justice.” Based on the League’s cowardly initial response to Chinese demands to pay penance, for engaging in free speech, one might ask, where is the NBA’s high-minded quest for social justice and moral courage now?

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