Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) triggered an ESPN reporter with his criticism of the NBA's list of approved political messages that players can sport on their jerseys. The approved list includes various anti-cop messages but zero messages critical of the Chinese Communist Party or supportive of law enforcement and U.S. troops.
In Hawley's letter, the senator asks the league to add messages like "Back the Blue" and "God Bless America" to the approved list. Hawley's letter was also sent to members of the press, which triggered at least one ESPN employee who responded to the senator's email with a simple, "F*** you," only without the asterisks.
The ESPN reporter was Adrian Wojnarowski, a senior reporter covering the NBA. Hawley tweeted the reporter's pithy response.
WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE
Wojnarowksi was quick to apologize.
ESPN also apologized for the reporter's words to the senator, saying the network would address the issue directly with the reporter but that the details of that conversation would remain internal. Sen. Hawley encouraged ESPN to call out the NBA instead of pretending like the reporter was sincerely apologizing for "saying what he really thinks."
Sen. Hawley said representatives of ESPN and Disney, a majority owner of ESPN, have been contacting his office following the reporter's Tourette's attack. The senator invited ESPN CEO Jimmy Pitaro to his Washington office to discuss the NBA, China, and ESPN.
My phone has been ringing off the hook with lobbyists from @espn, from @Disney, the works. Let’s make this simple. I’m inviting ESPN CEO Jimmy Pitaro to Washington. My office. Let’s sit down and discuss ESPN, #China, the @NBA. Look forward to his response— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) July 10, 2020
In his letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Hawley called out the league's capitulation to communist China and the league's refusal to allow players to sport political messages supportive of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
"Given the NBA's troubled history of excusing and apologizing for the brutal repression of the Chinese Communist regime, these omissions are striking," Hawley wrote.
The NBA is always siding with the woke mob, as long as it benefits them financially. In Oct. 2019 -- after lecturing the country on the importance of free speech during kneeling protests during the national anthem, and canceling an all star game scheduled in North Carolina after the state legislature passed a law banning transgender individuals from using whatever sex bathroom they wanted -- the NBA apologized for a tweet by Houston Rockets' General Manager Daryl Morey that was supportive of protesters in Hong Kong. The NBA's apology came after Chinese officials were reportedly furious with Morey's tweet and Beijing sponsors moved to cut ties with the organization.
"The league’s new policy suggests a newfound commitment to enhanced employee expression. But that free expression appears to stop at the edge of your corporate sponsors’ sensibilities. And for woke capital today, profits from the Chinese market are more popular than patriotism," Hawley wrote.
Sen. Hawley asked the league to clarify the values they truly believe in since it's not clear what they are based on the league's track record.
"This is a time for you to make clear what your league believes about human rights and about the nation that is your home. Your silence on these questions speaks volumes," Hawley added.
The senator asked the league to respond by July 29, 2020. But thanks to the snowflake at ESPN, maybe the senator's letter will get a response sooner than that.