The "Woke" NBA's Response to China Is Pathetic

This weekend Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey Tweeted "Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong," in support of protesters in Hong Kong fighting for continued democracy in the semi-autonomous Chinese region.

Morey's Tweet provoked a backlash in China, leading Morey to delete the Tweet and the league and his team to apologize for his opinions.

Yes, you read that right, the NBA is now apologizing for democracy.

Last night James Harden and Russell Westbrook made the Rockets team apology as specific as possible. "We apologize. You know, we love China," Harden said, speaking on behalf of himself and Westbrook.

Yes, NBA players, that supposed bastion of woke leadership, are now apologizing for their executives believing in democracy.

The NBA's own apology said the league recognized Morey's comments "have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable. While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA..." the statement continues with more typical corporate crap.

So let's pause here for a moment and consider what the Rockets and the NBA have done. THEY APOLOGIZED TO A BRUTAL COMMUNIST DICTATORSHIP FOR AN AMERICAN SUPPORTING DEMOCRACY.

Harden and Westbrook might as well have been getting paid to drive the tanks in Tiananmen Square back in 1989. (And, by the way, if you aren't familiar with that happened in Tiananmen Square, here's a link to the wikipedia page about China's brutal crackdown on democratic protesters there. At least you can read that link if you're in America. If you're in China they censor this article and any other reference to democratic protests.)

The NBA, a league which recently banned the word owner because Adam Silver agreed it was racially insensitive, just apologized for one of its executives supporting the democratic rights of an oppressed minority to aspire to basic human rights. The NBA, the league which moved its All Star game out of Charlotte, North Carolina over a manufactured battle between Democrats and Republicans over transgender bathroom rights, is perfectly fine with embracing systemic oppression and communist dictatorships in China.

Where are the NBA's woke leaders right now? You know, the supposedly outspoken sports figures using their platforms to espouse social justice? NBA coaches Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich feel compelled to comment on every Donald Trump Tweet, yet they can't utter a word in support of Morey's Tweet supporting democracy? How about LeBron "Safety Pin" James, he can't be bothered to actually support world democracy instead of calling the president a bum? LeBron's never going to be Michael Jordan, but at least he's finally one-upped his Airness. Jordan purportedly remarked that "Republicans buy sneakers too," in an effort to appeal to all Americans. Well, LeBron's essentially saying, "Brutal communist dictators buy sneakers too."

It's almost as if these woke NBA activists only speak out when they know the far left wing woke sports media will praise them and there is no risk to their actual income. It's easy to criticize the president of the United States in this country without any fear of punishment. Especially when the daft media compare you with Muhammad Ali when you do it.

But if you speak out against China's president you disappear in prisons, potentially for the rest of your life.

If LeBron wants to have a significant place on the global stage it would be easy to do. Just say you support democracy for China's billion people at your next press conference.

That's what Ali would have done.

That's what an athlete truly trying to make a difference would do.

But LeBron won't do that.

Because China pays him too much money. LeBron thought it was offensive when he was told to shut up and dribble. But the truth is, that was too kind. If you pay him enough money LeBron won't just shut up and dribble, he'll shut up, dribble, and defend brutal communist dictatorships with his paid for silence.

But it's not just NBA players and the commissioner, it's an owner too. The Brooklyn Nets new owner is Joseph Tsai, who thanks to coddling Chinese dictators, has managed to become fabulously wealthy. Now he's in America, buying one of our sports teams, and lecturing us in open letters about how we should have more respect for Chinese dictators and less respect for democracy.

This is absolutely disgraceful.

If the NBA had any balls -- or real commitment to social justice issues or equality around the world -- they'd pull Tsai's ability to purchase an NBA team after writing this letter.

No American should ever be made to apologize for supporting democracy around the world.


That should be every American's goal, regardless of political party.

Any owner that supports Americans apologizing for promoting a democracy around the world isn't an owner that deserves the support of any American sports fan or any American sports league.

To their credit politicians from across the left and right -- from Democrats like Andrew Yang and Julian Castro to Republicans like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz -- have united to condemn the NBA's response here. This isn't a partisan political issue, it's selling American values down the river as long as you're paid enough in the process.

And it's not just the NBA players, coaches, commissioner and owner either, it's also the woke sports media.

ESPN's Rachel Nichols said the transgender bathroom bill in North Carolina was the modern day equivalent of lunch counter sit ins. Seriously, she said this.

Guess who is broadcasting from China this week and endorsing a brutal anti-democratic communist dictatorship in the process?

ESPN's Rachel Nichols!

So ESPN, the worldwide leader in far left wing woke sports takes, is going to be broadcasting live from China and coddling brutal Communist dictators all for a little more money in their corporate coffers. (Which ESPN may need because they're going to be broke in a few years, but still.)

The truth is this entire woke sports industry is founded on total bullshit.

It's made up, not real, like most of social media. You know, the same social media which foreign countries manipulate with the money they spend in Silicon Valley.

For the past several years there has been a ton of talk about being on "the right side of history." Most people who have actually studied history will tell you this argument is mostly bullshit. If we all knew what the right side of history would be in 200 years from now there would never be a wrong side of history.

The truth is, history is complicated and it's often difficult to know what exactly is the "right" side of many issues.

But as a general rule the world bends towards justice, freedom and equality.

That's been the legacy, at least so far, of world history.

And democracy around the world is on the side of justice.

Here the NBA its players, coaches, owners, and lapdog woke media are all definitively choosing the wrong side of history.

Right now, in their own woke lives.

And the worst thing about it is, they aren't just choosing the wrong side of history, they're taking money to be on the wrong side of history.

The truth is this, if you pay the NBA enough money they'll even apologize for supporting democracy.

That's not hyperbole, it's the absolute truth.

The NBA, its players, coaches, commissioner and owners -- sorry governors, you pussies -- should all be ashamed of themselves.

Americans should never, ever apologize for promoting democracy around the world. It's our most important cultural export, the reason we exist as a bright and shining light in the world, the primary reason why the world bends towards justice.

Shut up and dribble?

Please, the NBA is making it clear that's not all they'll do when it comes to China.

If you pay the league, its players and owners enough money, they'll dribble and oppose democracy and basic human rights.

And no matter what your politics are, you should find that completely disgusting.

Because it's fundamentally anti-American.

The NBA may be a global league, but right and wrong isn't complicated here.

If Adam Silver had any balls at all, he'd pull every team and every game out of China and not play there again until China supports democracy and basic human rights. He'd issue his own statement supporting Daryl Morey and endorsing the spread of democracy around the world. And if NBA players and coaches weren't total hypocrites selling their activism down the river for money, they'd insist on this exact response from their commissioner.

But they won't.

Because selling out all your values to China pays so much better.

Written by
Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021. One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines. Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide. Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports. Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.