After all the preaching and preening, it turns out they’re just a bunch of money-grubbers.
Now you’re not going to see the media flack for the National Basketball Association framing the story that way. But that’s the lesson from the recent dust-up between the NBA and Red China.
As evidence there is still hope for this country, a lot of people ignore the NBA. For those people, here’s the backstory, and like so many things involving outrage and stupidity, this story starts with a tweet.
It seems the general manager of the Houston Rockets decided the world needed to know what he thought about Hong Kong. So he sent a tweet that read: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”
No big deal. Any sensible person would agree. The only question, given how obvious the sentiment, is why the guy felt the need to say it at all?
It’s gotta’ be ego.
That is, nobody had paid attention to this guy for what he considered to be too long, so he wanted to attract attention to himself. That seems to be the catalyst for the celebrity/media/Hollywood crowd when it comes to Twitter. They post because they crave attention.
It’s similar to what a young child does. We’ve all been there; the child does various tricks – cartwheels, somersaults, etc. etc. - all the while demanding attention: “watch me, watch me.”
The only difference between celebrities on Twitter and the young child is children have more sense.
It worked. The Hong Kong tweet got attention.
Within minutes after Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, posted his tweet in support of the brave souls in Hong Kong, the entire world was paying attention.
Unfortunately for Daryl, the entire world includes China.
Two things here. Red China is among the world leaders in ruthlessness and evil. For the government there, human rights, due-process, equal protection – all those things we enjoy here – are matters of convenience in China.
That is, they are tolerated as long as it is convenient for the government.
And that’s why thousands of the bravest people on the planet are protesting in Hong Kong. They are risking their lives against the Communists in the pursuit of freedom.
So, we can all agree that doing everything we can to support the protesters – short of war – is admirable.
While we may agree, the bean-counters at the NBA cannot. That’s not to say they don’t have principles. They do. It’s just their principle is to make even more money.
And they’re making a lot of money in China.
This explains why the NBA immediately criticized the tweet. They said it was “regrettable.” They apologized profusely. They said they were really, really sorry that the tweet “deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China.”
After the apology was issued, NBA executives launched a frantic search for Chinese boots to lick.
This is especially rich coming from the NBA. This is the outfit that loves to flout its liberal credentials.
Remember, it was the NBA that moved an all-star game because parents in North Carolina don’t want men in a bathroom with their six-year-old daughters. This is same league whose players regularly claim police murder as habit. This is the same league whose coaches ridicule the president on a regular basis.
And that’s all fine; free country and all. But these same courageous coaches, executives and superstars go mum about China – an outfit that considers murder and mass incarceration as tools of governance – for fear of losing money.
Think about that.
This bunch is so rich their grandchildren won’t live long enough to spend their money. Yet even a hint of losing a buck from the Commies in China and they bow down.
None of this is a surprise. It’s common for the Loud Liberal Crowd to preach one thing and do another (Re: climate change, sexual abuse, armed guards, free speech). But this controversy surpasses your typical liberal hypocrisy.
The NBA crew of enlightened liberals now enforces Red China’s censorship at game in the United States. Security at two NBA games last week ejected fans who had signs supporting Hong Kong.
So here’s the lesson. Free speech is a good thing for rich NBA-types – but not people who go to their games.
Remember that the next time you think about watching a game or buying NBA gear.
DAN HAMMES is publisher of the Gazette Record.