Editor's Note: There was an error in the opening regarding Benedict Arnold. It's been fixed. We apologize for the oversight.
The Revolutionary War had Benedict Arnold, the Cleveland Cavaliers had Lebron James and currently, America has the NBA.
During the Revolutionary War, Continental Army hero Benedict Arnold went from hero to zero when he betrayed his countrymen for a lump of cash--20,000.00 pounds to be exact. Arnold’s opinion about the Continental Army soured because he believed he wasn’t treated fairly and deserved more recognition and pay, so he switched sides. Ironically, word of his treason reenergized American troops to push forward and win.
In 2010, Cleveland Cavaliers fans had their own kind of traitor, a talented, whiny crybaby named LeBron James, who betrayed his hometown team for the Miami Heat. In response, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert devalued LeBron’s life-size wall pictures to $17.41—the year Benedict Arnold was born.
Undoubtedly, Cavs fans took James’ betrayal personally. Still, their betrayal pales compared to the betrayal millions upon millions of NBA (and other professional sports) fans experience today, watching players disrespectfully kneel during the national anthem. They also take issue with the questionable relationship the NBA shares with China. Disrespecting America, while ingratiating itself with a communist regime is something ordinary Americans take personally.
Insulting Americans is the NBA’s modus operandi of late. Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban recently told Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to “have some balls for once” because Cruz dared to tweet, “NBA is telling everyone who stands for the flag, who honors our cops and our veterans, to ‘piss off’? In Texas, no less.”
As Vice President Mike Pence recently said, “Some of the NBA’s biggest players and owners, who routinely exercise their freedom to criticize this country, lose their voices when it comes to the freedom and rights of other peoples. In siding with the Chinese Communist Party and silencing free speech, the NBA is acting like a wholly-owned subsidiary of the authoritarian regime.”
Translated, the NBA is China’s whore.
When China says jump, the NBA asks how high. Owners, managers and players defiantly protest America’s so-called social injustices, yet sing the praises of a regime that crushes freedom, imprisons dissidents, runs concentration camps and quells protesters using real bullets not rubber ones.
These spineless cowards stand on the shoulders of America’s forefathers and American patriots who gifted them with freedom purchased with their blood. They’re squandering that freedom to help hide from plain sight the fact that Chinese Communists use slave labor to produce products from which the NBA and companies like Nike receive enormous profit--as well as athletes like LeBron James. James’ endorsements are worth far more than Benedict Arnold’s relatively paltry sum (worth more than $3.5 million in today’s dollars).
These arrogant charlatans stand on their soapboxes here at home preaching about social justice, while raking in millions from products manufactured by Chinese slave labor. They are too morally corrupt to draw a red line between profit and principle, refusing to stand alongside Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters and against China’s puppet government in Hong Kong.
In October, Lebron James rekindled the NBA’s China problem when he spoke out against Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. You may remember Morey had the moral courage to tweet support for protesters who’ve lost life and limb in their quest to retain freedom of speech and religion.
Morey tweeted: “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” That’s it. China immediately retaliated with several businesses cutting ties with the Rockets and TV networks blocking their games from Chinese viewers. Of course, Morey had to issue a syrupy apology.
The league also released a pathetic apology, pseudo-supporting Morey’s right to free speech while at the same time kissing up to China. The New York Post reports the “statement issued by the league in Chinese said the league was ‘extremely disappointed’ by Morey’s ‘inappropriate’ tweet.”
The statement remains true: People do what’s inspected, not what’s expected. Thankfully, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo, recently introduced a bill holding American businesses accountable if they profit from slave labor in their supply chain. (Once again, Republicans find themselves on the right side of history regarding slavery.) In a statement released regarding his Slave-Free Business Certification Act, Hawley said, “Executives build woke, progressive brands for American consumers, but happily outsource labor to Chinese concentration camps, all just to save a few bucks.”
It hasn’t always been this way. Once upon a time, basketball had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with showcasing American athletic prowess. One of the greats, from the 1991 NBA draft, Dikembe Mutombo, used to delight fans after blocking a shot with his legendary index finger wag, as if to say to his opponent, “Not in my house.”
Somewhere between the love for basketball and the love of Chinese dollars (Yuan), the NBA lost its way. The NBA season begins July 30, 2020, and like Mutombo, every patriotic American should wag their proverbial finger at the NBA to say, “Not in my house.”
The NBA bent over backward for China the minute it retaliated in response to Morey’s statement. In stark contrast, the league continues to trample over America and its patriotic citizens, meaning money talks. So, let’s stop watching their games and buying their products--until the NBA cuts all ties with China and players begin standing during the national anthem—in respect for this extraordinary country which turned them into heroes. Or, let them spend the rest of their careers as pathetic zeroes in the eyes of Americans.
©2020 Susan Stamper Brown. Susan lives in Alaska and feels safer around the grizzlies that roam her property than the leftists that roam worldwide. She has written for scores of newspapers and media publications across the U.S., including USA Today, Townhall, The Christian Post, GOPUSA, BizPac Review, and Jewish World Review. Susan is listed as America's 50 Best conservative columnists for 2015 and 2016, and America's 40 Best Conservative columnists for 2017. Contact Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org.