The Houston Rockets NBA franchise has taken the metaphorical knee after offending their Chinese Communist overlords with a tweet in support of Hong Kong protestors. “Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong,” was the tweet from Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey. Of course this offended many in China including owners of businesses that sponsor the Rockets and the NBA.
Obviously Morey has no knowledge of geo-politics to make such a statement. This is not surprising as many in Hollywood also weigh in on subjects they have no knowledge of. Despite quickly deleting his tweet, nothing could prevent the online explosion of abuse from China. From there came the financial fallout: the Chinese Basketball Association suspended its relationship with the Rockets – presumably meaning no more matches featuring the Rockets to be played in China. Tencent an online NBA streaming service in China said it will not be streaming matches involving the Houston Rockets, and Chinese State Television took the same stance. Even more interesting is that the Rockets have a big following in China as national team player Yao, Ming represented the club some years back.
Inevitably the General Manager made a grovelling apology to the Communist regime and all those offended. “I did not intend my tweet to cause any offence to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China, I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation, of one complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives. I have always appreciated the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors have provided and I would hope that those who are upset will know that offending or misunderstanding them was not my intention,”
In other words, he and the Rockets have always appreciated the money they get from Chinese fans and sponsors, and Morey hopes they’re not so upset as to withdraw their sponsorship and or support. But Morey now just looks like a globalist shill willing to bow to anyone that will pay him enough.
Those with a memory of the NFL’s anthem kneeling demonstration will remember that there was no apology from the players for offending patriotic Americans. And there was very little change in the demeanour of players after President Trump called out the disrespectful dirtbags. Crowd numbers did dwindle but players made no apologies. At the time of the anthem controversy the NBA’s big shot Lebron James even had the hide to call President Trump a “bum”. Racist Aussie NBA player Ben Simmons joined in the trendy sledging of the President saying, “I think he’s an idiot. If we were in Australia right now, a lot of people would call him a dickhead.”
The takeaway from this episode is that American pro sportsmen are willing to apologise to Communist China and its people, but they’re unwilling to apologise to Americans and their elected President. They’re living in a bubble. And the irony is, that if the players were living under a despotic Communist regime like that of China, they would not be allowed to criticise their leader, their anthem or their flag. That is exactly what one misled NBA obsessed Chinese citizen learnt after posting a picture in support of the Houston Rockets depicting himself with a lighter set to burn the Chinese flag.
Sometimes there is a price for freedom. The Houston Rockets players and the money hungry beast that is the NBA may not have learnt that, but the rest of the world has.