By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
October 11, 2019
“Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”
The short pair of sentences tweeted out Oct. 4 by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey roiled China, which then rocked the NBA by refusing to broadcast Rockets games, canceling fan events, and threatening further sanctions.
As the saga has played out, with NBA commissioner Adam Silver calling the tweet “regrettable” and saying it had “deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China,” the ordeal has perhaps revealed as much about the basketball league’s greed and lack of principles as it has about China’s oppressive regime.
“The love of money is the issue here – big business – corporate interests. And Silver and his cohorts would have us prostitute America’s freedom of speech birthright and our support for liberty and democracy around the globe for China’s mess of pottage. It is, at least in spirit, treasonous,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League.
Silver, who distanced the NBA from Morey in his first statement about the tweet, tried to smooth things over with a second statement that appeared to many as equally pandering. That’s when former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory took to the media to call out the NBA’s hypocrisy.
McCrory reminded the nation how quickly the basketball league had shunned the Tar Heel state during the HB 2 controversy, while all the while turning a blind eye to China’s authoritarian rule.
“They wanted to involve themselves with North Carolina commerce and an election, while not setting the same standard for China,” said McCrory. He said it had been money, not principles, that guided the NBA’s actions all along.
During the NBA boycott of Charlotte over HB2 (the bill which prevented the city from forcing private business owners to allow men in their ladies’ rooms in the name of transgender rights), McCrory said he pointed out to Silver the double standard, but to no avail.
Creech applauded McCrory this week for continuing to speak up.
“Silver is not gold in this matter. When HB 2 was the issue, Adam Silver was willing to hold North Carolina’s economy hostage for a dirty ransom. He called on this state to abandon common sense by accepting the normalization of gender perversion, endangering women and children, and trampling on the rights of businesses and churches that live and work according to their peacefully held beliefs. Otherwise, the NBA wouldn’t do business with our state,” Creech said.
“At that time, Silver said the NBA’s position on HB 2 was a moral one. The morality evident by Silver and the NBA on HB 2 then and now China is as slick as Silver’s bald head.”
Read Rev. Creech’s full press release here: https://mailchi.mp/christianactionleague/cal-director-rev-creech-sides-with-mccrory-on-nbas-china-hypocrisy?e=22e595edfe
Creech said no one is buying the NBA’s claim that the organization truly supports “values of equality, respect, and freedom of expression.”
“I don’t see how anyone can honestly contend that Houston Rockets general manager, Daryl Morey, hasn’t been censored. Of course, he has,” Creech said. (Morey replaced his tweet with an apology and a reminder that his opinion does not represent the Rockets or the NBA.)
“What’s most troubling is that he was censored for touting freedom and democracy around the world, more specifically, liberty for the people of communist China. Neither can I believe that Morey capitulated so quickly with an apology for his tweet. It’s going to take a stronger spine than that to defend liberty in a growing climate of hatred for it by forces inside and outside of America.”
Interestingly the nationwide call for a stronger spine in the wake of the NBA controversy has made for some strange bedfellows, so to speak.
A congressional letter telling the NBA that “It is outrageous that the Chinese Communist Party is using its economic power to suppress the speech of Americans inside the United States,” and that “It is also outrageous that the NBA has caved to Chinese government demands for contrition,” was co-signed by eight members of Congress, including conservative Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and liberal Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Even the cartoon “South Park” and the Christian Action League were on the same page regarding the issue.
The long-running Comedy Central cartoon was erased from major platforms in China after a recent episode taunted Chinese censors. While the NBA was falling over itself to kowtow to China, South Park creators put out the following fake apology:
“Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts. We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn’t just look like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the great Communist Party of China! May this autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful. We good now, China?”
Creech had this response: “Although I think South Park is a profane broadcast, their arguments about loving money more than freedom and democracy were on point and strong.”
As for his advice to Silver, Creech said: “The NBA shouldn’t apologize. Instead, they should be strong for liberty and impenitently repeat to the offended Chinese government what John F. Kennedy said in his inaugural address:
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”