It seems that each and every week that we choose a Dumbass of the Week it becomes more and more difficult to narrow the list to just one person. The honor this week must be shared by both the NBA and their equally hypocritical partner in crime, Nike. Oh, what a week for both multi billion dollar corporations.
The trouble all began when the general manger of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, tweeted, "Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong". A reasonable sentiment for any American or anyone else, for that matter, who believes in freedom. However, to the Communist Chinese such a sentiment will not go unpunished. To the NBA management, who have realized the profitability and size of the Chinese market, an apology for voicing such heretical beliefs was instantly produced. It's fair to note, as far as the apology goes, the official Chinese version was much tougher in its condemnation of the GM's action than was the English version which simply apologized for offending the host nation, as the NBA is playing several games there this week. Amongst the NBA's apologists were the Commissioner of the league, Adam Silver and the head coach of the Golden State warriors, Steve Kerr. Plus, various other NBA notables.
Apologizing for offensive language is not the problem and is, more often than not, a good thing. However, Adam Silver, Steve Kerr and many of the unnamed NBA notables not mentioned earlier are extremely vocal, in this country, where they take full advantage of their own freedom of speech. The only conclusion that we can draw is that Silver, Kerr and the others do not believe that anyone in Hong Kong is entitled to the liberties that the NBA royalty so readily enjoy. It would be amazing for Steve Kerr to speak of Chairman Xi while in China, the way he speaks of President Trump. Mr. Kerr would understand how a real dictator behaves in the face of a blowhard's diatribe. Go ahead Steve, say something stupid, I dare you.
On the flip side of the NBA's hypocritical coin, is Nike, just as hypocritical but silent. Nike, who hired Colin Kaepernick as one of their superstars. Kaepernick, an extremely polarizing figure who had them kill a tribute sneaker with the Betsy Ross flag on it, because he found the original American flag offensive. Kaepernick, who calls police pigs. Again, a billion dollar corporation which takes full advantage of freedom of speech in this country but which shuts the hell up in China. We get to call out both groups as unworthy, greedy and in need of having to re-earn their share of the American market.
The NBA and Nike are only trying to protect the markets in which they do business, great. However, Hong Kong will not be oppressed and the people fighting there are invoking the spirit of the American founding fathers and fighting for the very freedom and liberty that Adam Silver, Steve Kerr and Colin Kaepernick take for granted. I, for one, will not watch the NBA nor buy any Nike products until both companies change their behavior and prove that some things are worth more than money. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness rank top on that list, and by denying freedom to those in Hong Kong, you deny it everywhere. If it were simply up to me, I would banish both the NBA and Nike to China so that they could fully support their Communist puppet masters in all that they were commanded to do. Maybe, just maybe, by having to live in China and play only by China's rules, they'd learn to appreciate American values and understand the importance of fighting for those who can not fight for themselves. Further, in the case of those fighting in Hong Kong, at least lend vocal support to the cause.