Crofts: The NBA Bows to the Almighty Dollar


(Courtesy Flickr)

By Porter Crofts, Opinion Writer

Over the past week, there has been growing controversy in the NBA after a tweet from Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey. Morey tweeted an image in support of the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. The image said “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” You may be asking yourself how this tweet is even a controversy, but many Chinese Twitter users began calling for Morey to be fired. This pressure prompted the Houston Rockets owner, Tilman Fertitta, to tweet that Morey “does NOT speak for the Rockets” in hopes of appeasing China.

In response, Chinese sponsors, partners, streaming services and even the Chinese basketball league have threatened to cut ties with the Rockets and the NBA. It is interesting that since China severed ties, the NBA has gone on a full apology tour to China in attempts to save the relationship damaged by the pro-democracy tweet.

Anyone who believes in freedom and human rights should let the image speak for them, and Fertitta should be ashamed of himself for saying that Morey doesn’t speak for the Rockets simply due to his public pro-democracy stance. The image tweeted was in fact not threatening, and it is not something that any American should feel the need to apologize for. The quote, “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong” is far from a controversial statement — but in the world today, anything that irritates the Chinese dictatorship and threatens access to the Chinese market must be immediately retracted.

This controversy really is a symbol of a much larger and continuously growing issue in America. The more China has grown, the more American companies have pandered and bowed down to its oppressive dictatorship and values. To these companies, a dollar means more than American values, democracy or even basic human rights.

The sad truth is that the same companies that virtue signal and speak out against policies and statements they don’t approve of in American society are the same companies that ship jobs overseas to China and other countries where workers do not have many protective rights, labor in unsanitary conditions and are not paid a living wage.

Nike, for instance, stopped the release of a shoe because Twitter was offended by the use of the Betsy Ross Flag and in their advertisement with Colin Kaepernick, the athlete said “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Yes, this is the same Nike who makes shoes in Vietnam, where workers are forced to work in sweatshop conditions and only paid low hourly wages. It is the same Nike who loves doing business in China, despite the horrible abuses of human rights by the Chinese government. Maybe someone should ask why Nike doesn’t believe in sacrificing profits in the name of justice and human rights?

These “American” companies will chase a dollar wherever it goes. They will take money from a rival even if it’s not in the best interest of human rights or the values of the United States. If China offers a big market and a crisp dollar bill in exchange for silence, these companies see groveling to a communist government as one hell of a deal. China is our top rival and enemy, and stands on the verge of overtaking the United States as the biggest economy in the world. There is no denying their attempt to overtake us as the main global superpower.

These companies have no morals, no values and no care for America. The only real concern these companies have is the almighty dollar. It should be offensive to every U.S. citizen that these large corporations have betrayed the American worker, turned their back on American values and helped legitimize oppressive regimes. In the famous words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” So, if the NBA won’t say it and pandering corporations won’t say it, I will — “Fight for freedom, Stand with Hong Kong.”


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