Groveling to China

Companies tell us they support justice.

“Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything,” says former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a Nike ad.

“Speak for the people who may not be able to be heard,” says the NBA.

“Corporate PR hogwash,” says journalist Melissa Chen in my new video.

“Hogwash,” she says, because the NBA clearly does not want its employees to criticize injustice — if that injustice is in China.

Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted, “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.”

Good for him. China crushed freedom in Hong Kong.

But China didn’t like hearing an NBA executive say that. Chinese TV stopped broadcasting Rockets games. The NBA then apparently told its players and front offices to shut up. Morey deleted his tweet and instead tweeted that he “did not intend to cause any offense.”

The NBA itself also apologized to China, saying that they were “disappointed” by Morey’s “inappropriate” tweet. Lebron James called Morey “misinformed.” James Harden said, “We love China.”

“China is able to strong-arm these companies … into actually acquiescing with its ideology,” complains Chen.

That ideology is often grotesque. The U.S. and other countries accuse China of committing genocide against a mostly Muslim minority group, the Uyghurs.

China imprisons them in “reeducation camps.” Leaked satellite footage shows blindfolded men, with their hands tied behind their backs, in what looks like a concentration camp.

“They are forced into slave labor,” says Chen.

A few Uyghurs who escaped say they were tortured.

But although the NBA runs ads that say, “Speak for the people who may not be able to be heard,” it clearly does not want its players, coaches or executives to say anything about Uyghur genocide.

Chamath Palihapitiya, a part owner of the Golden State Warriors, was unusually honest when he said, “Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs. … We have a responsibility to take care of our own backyard first.”

I took his comment to Chen.

“Companies like Apple, Nike and Coca-Cola have part of their supply chain sourced from this region,” she responds. “In these areas, Uyghurs are forced to participate in slave labor.”

Hollywood doesn’t care either. The movie “Mulan” was filmed in the same region where Uyghurs are tortured. In the credits, Disney gave “special thanks” to government departments in Xinjiang, where the abuse occurs.

“Fast and Furious 9” actor John Cena, promoting his movie to people in Taiwan, said, “Taiwan is the first country that can watch F9.”

What was wrong with that?

“He had the audacity to allude to the fact that Taiwan was a country,” says Chen, “rather than a territory owned by China.”

I don’t know what China said to Cena or Universal Pictures, but soon Cena was on Chinese social media, groveling to China, saying “sorry” over and over. “I have made a mistake. … I really love and respect the Chinese people. … I made a mistake,” he pleaded.

Chen calls that pathetic. “I think the Chinese government actually takes a lot of pleasure knowing that they can actually strong-arm individuals and companies into capitulation to its own political ideology.”

Only one NBA player is principled enough to point out the NBA’s hypocrisy: Boston Celtic Enes Kanter Freedom. He criticizes players who don’t speak up because they fear losing Chinese business deals.

“Human rights and basic rights is way more important than any deal you can offer,” he says. He loses lucrative shoe contracts because he sometimes displays messages on his shoes, like “Free Tibet” and “Stand With Taiwan.” He denounces Chinese Uyghur oppression.

So China won’t broadcast Celtics games.

But Freedom keeps speaking up, calling out hypocrites like Nike, which promotes social justice causes in the United States but is largely silent about human rights violations in China.

The press rarely points out the hypocrisy, says Chen, because “this exposes the woke edifice of the NBA.”

Of course, companies exist to make money. Should we expect them to turn their back on the Chinese market?

“Absolutely,” says Chen. “The least we can do is to take stock of their cowardice and recognize that what they’re participating in is bald-faced hypocrisy.”

7 thoughts on “Groveling to China

  1. Greed. The most evil of sin. Shame on the actors, athletes, companies & corporations who make millions & billions all the while ignoring the fact that China commits horrible inhumane atrocities daily. They have already shown the world the fact that they can & have used biological warfare. Big mistake. God is watching!

  2. This is nothing new. It all came to light several years ago when these bigoted organizations started openly promoting disrespect to the USA and it’s people and called it something noble. They plaster the insignia of modern version of the KKK (BLM) on everything that they can and people hold this blatant bigotry and racism up as good and positive.
    The modern mainstream media has become a mouthpiece of bigotry and hatred and do nothing but promote this backwards, damaging philosophy. They openly support communism and what is happening in China while they tear down the USA. They openly support oil production and pipelines in Russia while they tear down the USA.
    I am 60 years old and gave a HUGE portion of my life (USAF Retired) to this country to defend their right to make asses of themselves. My father and uncles fought Hitler in Germany and their father and uncles fought the Kaiser. It now seems that all of this was for nothing, since our children are being openly taught that the very things that we fought against are instead of the evil that they were, are actually positive and good.
    I truly believe that within the next few years the USA will cease to exist as it was founded and will instead be irreparably “fundamentally changed”.

  3. This why i dont watch NBA NFL buy niké, cause they back things like the Chinese government or use slave labor or work against world morals and norms just to make a buck . no wonder china is so emboldened.

  4. How do we know that the information on the Chinese Uyghur oppression is valid? Are we checking the actual facts by going there and seeing it for yourself , or are you taking other media outlets or the United States government word for this suppose genocide? Cuz, I would have reservations believing anything the US government and media Outlets tell us. The United States government finds any country that post a threat to them militarily or economically as enemies and they will find something or make something up and leak to the media in order to get public opinion on their side. This is the case with China and Russia.

  5. Thank you for continuing your work of bringing honest discussion to topics that most will shun for the difficulty that comes with controversy. You are a breath of fresh air in a stagnant room.

  6. It makes you wonder what kind of Faustian bargain Eileen Gu is making. I suspect she and her mom think they can have it all, endorsement deals from Western AND Chinese companies. So far, so good. She is on her way to becoming the richest athlete ever, before she turns 20.

    She has also voiced support for BLM and the like, while being stubbornly mute about the Uyghurs. But she can’t play this double game forever. She is going to have to piss off somebody, sometime.

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