Why the NBA needs to take a stance on China

by

Monday, November 4, 2019


On October 2nd, South Park released the second episode of its 23rd season on Comedy Central. The premise of the episode centered around Chinese censorship of American corporations, due to strict restrictions by the Communist Party of China within the country’s media markets. 

Why is this important? 

Just five days after the release of this episode, the Chinese government effectively banned the Houston Rockets from operating within the country after its GM tweeted in support of the pro-democracy Hong Kong protesters. While many within the US political sphere from both the left and right have condemned the actions of the Chinese government, the same cannot be said for those in the National Basketball Association.  

The NBA has had a very disappointing response to the actions of the Chinese government, effectively being apologetic for the actions of the Houston Rockets’ GM. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a statement touted the working relationship of the NBA and foreign entities such as China. Brooklyn Nets Owner, Joe Tsai, even went on to say in a Facebook post that the situation in China is a “third rail issue” that NBA officials should not get involved in, while also stating that what’s happening in China is a “separatist movement” and shouldn’t be taken seriously. Besides these two major statements, there hasn’t been much else out of the NBA. And that is the problem. 

While the NBA has been almost silent on China, they are ever quick to comment on President Trump whenever he has something to say. Steve Kerr, the Golden State Warriors Head Coach, is a prime example. While he has been quick to call President Trump a racist, misogynist, and unfit for office on numerous occasions, he failed to even merely state during a presser on October 7th the fact that China persecutes its own citizens on the basis of religion and puts them into work camps. He even went farther during a postgame press conference on October 10th by trying to dodge a question on China, instead insisting that people in China do not ask questions about American Human Rights Violation. He also refused to answer when a reporter asked him if Rockets GM Daryl Morey should be fired over his Pro Hong Kong tweets. 

When the most vocal critic of an American President within a billion-dollar association can’t even utter a word of criticism to the leader of a foreign entity, that is a big issue. 

Many within the NBA also may feel this same way and are not willing to risk their jobs over severing ties with the Chinese government. We should not stay silent on atrocities that happen worldwide just because a foreign entity may be the actual ones signing your checks at the end of the week. We can criticize our President all we want and argue about his actions and tweets. 

In America, we have that luxury no matter who we are and what our viewpoint is. We must have the guts to wish that people in other countries are able to do the same without fear of persecution. 

The National Basketball Association has two clear choices in this situation. They can either continue to allow a hostile foreign government to interfere in their business and operations just for the sake of profit, or they can call out China for what they are: a communist totalitarian government. The NBA must take a clear stand if they are to be taken seriously on the international stage and domestically going forward.

Jose Rodriguez, who also goes by “Francisco,” is a senior at John Jay College of Criminal Justice double majoring in Political Science and Economics. He has previously served as President of his College Republican chapter, along with being a staff member on a gubernatorial race in New York.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Jose Rodriguez

John Jay College

Jose Rodriguez, who also goes by “Francisco,” is a senior at John Jay College of Criminal Justice double majoring in Political Science and Economics. He has previously served as President of his College Republican chapter, along with being a staff member on a gubernatorial race in New York.

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