Since the NBA resumed its season in July, it has become political in regards to racial tensions in America, but they also unintentionally raised awareness for the abuse that takes place in China.
The NBA had no intention to raise awareness for the abuse that their colleagues in China were guilty of doing. They were very vocal about raising awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement since the NBA restart but were suspiciously silent on anything related to their friends in China.
When the season resumed after a four month hiatus due to COVID-19, players were allowed to have a social justice message, from a select list of phrases, displayed on the back of their jerseys. These messages included phrases such as “Black Lives Matter,” “Say Their Name,” and “Vote.”
However, one phrase that was noticeably absent from the list was “Free Hong Kong,” as Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley brought to the attention of the league. The response Hawley got after pointing out the league’s silence on China was a “f**k you” from NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
This highlighted the NBA’s silence on China as people from sports and political circles were now all wary of the league’s association with China, despite how hard the NBA and sports media tried to hide it.
“I think normal Americans get it, but the media and the corporate class want to look the other way,” Hawley said. “Normal, working Americans have understood at a gut level for years the threat from China, including the threat to our jobs. It is the political establishment and the corporate class that kowtow to China.”
An ESPN investigation further shows why the NBA chose to remain silent as there were several incidents of physical abuse at the NBA’s training academies in China. The investigation displayed the NBA’s relationship with China, which became front and center shortly after the season resumed.
Hawley putting pressure on the NBA, coupled with the ESPN investigation that took place since Daryl Morey’s “Free Hong Kong” tweet in 2019, raised awareness for the abuse that takes place in China. The NBA did not want this kind of awareness to see the light as their only intention in becoming more political was to provide a platform for the Black Lives Matter movement.
The NBA desired to appease their athletes by allowing them to take part in social activism on or off the court, even forgoing previous limitations such as kneeling for the National Anthem. Along with displaying a message across the backs of jerseys, the basketball court had “Black Lives Matter” painted on it, several commercials advocated for the BLM movement and reporters often neglected asking players and coaches about the game they were playing in favor of a dialogue about social justice.
The abuse that occurs in China coming to light as a result of the NBA’s silence turned out to be a positive outcome of the NBA going all out for social justice. The extent of the league’s relationship with China was finally put on display this summer after it refused to criticize the country last fall in order to protect their bottom line. The NBA’s dirtier side is finally shown and they could potentially pay the price for their wrongdoings, now that the public is aware of their handlings.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.