With all the rancor in Washington, it’s nice to see issues where Democrats and Republicans seem to be able to come together and take a unified stand.
Both the left and the right came together to rip the NBA for pandering to China and stopping speech of Americans critical of China and/or supportive of Hong Kong protesters.
According to a draft of their letter obtained by CNN, the bipartisan group which included Reps. Tom Malinowksi, Mike Gallagher, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jim Banks, and Sens. Ben Sasse, Ron Wyden, Tom Cotton, and Ted Cruz blasted the NBA.
“It is outrageous that the Chinese Communist Party is using its economic power to suppress the speech of Americans inside the United States,” they said. “It is also outrageous that the NBA has caved to Chinese government demands for contrition.”
They noted such concession would only inspire China to further intimidate free speech.
The members continued, saying the NBA “should have anticipated the challenges of doing business in a country run by a repressive single party government—including by being prepared to stand in strong defense of the freedom of expression of its employees, players, and affiliates across the globe.”
The letter observed that the NBA is not silent when it came to speaking out on American “social justice” issues, noting “it is easy to defend freedom of speech when it costs you nothing, equivocating when profits are at stake is a betrayal of fundamental American values.
The members also pointed out, “You have more power to take a stand than most of the Chinese government’s targets” and they should stand for freedom because it’s those very rights that have afforded them their success.
They also set forth a list of things they’d like to see from the NBA.
They also make these four requests: pic.twitter.com/irOJXK1ycT
— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) October 9, 2019
But the NBA is already having more trouble. As Twitchy noted, more fans were tossed out at a Wizards game last night with the Guangzhou Loong-Lions after the fans chanted slogans, held up signs “Shame on the NBA,” “Free Speech is a universal value,” and “South Park was right,” and wore shirts reading “Free Hong Kong.”
Security confiscated a “Free Hong Kong” sign from protesters sporting the t-shirts as the national anthem was being played.
Jon Schweppe, @JonSchweppe, who is with the American Principles Project, was part of the group and took the videos.
The protesters also had a sign “Google Uyghurs” confiscated.
The Uyghurs are a group of Chinese Muslims who have been greatly persecuted by the Chinese government and locked up in concentration camps.
Fans were ejected for similar actions the night before at a Philadelphia 76ers game with the same Chinese team.
More such actions are being planned by fans.
The NBA needs to take the hint from Congress or they may find a more important market rejecting them than that of China, in addition to throwing American values under the bus.