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Chinese Court Rules Homosexuality Can Be Considered Mental Disorder. Will NBA Respond?

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No American pro sports league has profited more from its business relationship with China than the NBA, and the NBA has been known to take some serious social justice and political stands in the United States.

So it will be interesting to see if the league will take a stand against its biggest business partner, now that a Chinese court has ruled in favor of a widely circulated Chinese textbook that describes homosexuality as “a psychological disorder.”

Remember, the NBA is the same organization that once pulled its All-Star Game out of Charlotte after a North Carolina law banned transgender people from using bathrooms in accordance with their gender identities.

Now, will the league speak out about the Chinese court ruling that states referring to homosexuality as a mental disorder is a-OK? Will it pull preseason games out of China, stop accepting money from Chinese merchandise sales, vehemently speak out about the communist nation’s decision to promote materials that are clearly anti-LGBT?

Perhaps the bigger question is, will members of the NBA media even bother to ask? After all, they sure seem to pepper the league’s Democratic flag-carriers with political questions, constantly seeking the opinions of major players such as Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich — who on Tuesday bashed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to drop the state’s mask mandate.

Of course, homosexuality being called a “mental disorder” is the least of China’s social justice atrocities, given the Xinjiang internment camps, which are rife with human rights abuses, mistreatment, rape and torture of Uyghurs and other Muslims. Some have even alleged genocide of these minorities.

The NBA knows about all of this, yet it continues to stay in bed with China, fighting for its right to earn big bucks off a nation that is filled with wicked and cruel acts against humanity.

Few agree with the NBA’s decision to support social justice at home, but the league doesn’t make nearly the money from its U.S. fan base as it does from the one in China. As late NBA commissioner David Stern once told me, “There are 350 million people in America. There are 350 million people in China who love basketball.”

So the NBA doesn’t deny that its business relationship with China is of critical importance. But staying quiet about human rights violations involving its biggest business partner — including a Chinese court’s acceptance of homosexuality as a psychological issue — is downright hypocritical.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

49 Comments

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  1. The Media deal with stories that disrupt The Narrative in two ways: 1.) They lie, or, 2.) They utterly ignore it, leaving it to die in silence.

    I would bet that they choose to ignore it, and continue to cash their Chinese checks.

  2. There is no way China could manipulate “really smart” people who need to “educate” and who do their “homework” like LeBron James to sow the seeds of discord in America while China takes a larger role in the world, right?

  3. The NBA players are like surly teenagers who hate mom and dad for putting a roof over their head and food in their stomachs, meanwhile they love the loser who hangs out in a parking lot smoking dope and espousing “wisdom”.

    Come to think of it, that’s all Liberals isn’t it?

  4. This announcement from China is going to have an affect on more than just the NBA. Like many of you on this thread mentioned, it’s going to affect every single entity in the United States who has either been silent or have turned the other cheek on China and their Communist ways……that includes our Democratic leaders. China is testing our Elites in this country. If our CEO’s, athletes, entertainers and Democratic politicians stay silent or don’t condemn this….this will have voting ramifications in future elections and will make quite a few people who have been silent or on the fence turn on them

  5. I’m going to soft peddle this as best I can. LeBron and such only care about only one, single issue. It’s not about fairness across the board, it’s about one, only one, single issue for them.

    Think about hunger…..they want to eat and feed their people…..they actually don’t care if others outside their group starve. It’s a singular focus.

    And this ain’t it people, not even close!!!! You don’t see them pushing this issue that much even in the US! It’s a non-issue for LeBron.

    People will call him hypocritical. In a sense he is……but I think it’s a priority issue with him. He’s not trying to save the world…he’s trying to save just one slice of it.

    • I’ll add to this: global policing. There are people who believe that America should force their ideas and beliefs on other countries. There are others who’d like to focus solely on the United States.

      China mistreating Uyghurs? Those who are against global policing would prefer to ignore such issues. They’d prefer 100% focus on the U.S. economy, social justice issues, etc. What happens in China, other Asian countries, Middle East…stays in those countries.

      It’s obvious that the NBA, LeBron, and most companies are against global policing. They want China’s money. They don’t care about China itself. They’re not interested in any wrongdoings that occur outside of North American soil. They’re only interested in their country / people / brand. Global policing puts them in controversy’s way.

      • You’re missing my point. LeBron (and broader group) don’t care about Uyghurs….in the US or China.

        They doesn’t care about Jews……in the US or China.

        They doesn’t care about Trans…..in the US or China.

        They doesn’t care about Gay……in the US or China.

        He….and the NBA because of players power……are only focused on ONE ISSUE. Nothing else matters to them….never has.

        I get calling LeBron a SJW (him calling himself a SJW) leads us to believe he should be accountable for all “social injustices”. What I’m saying is……he isn’t a SJW…..he is a ONE ISSUE WARRIOR.

      • Against global policing but for bashing America. Against global policing but for taking money from the closest government we have to 21st Century Nazi’s all the while calling America racist, filled with white supremacists, oppressive, etc. It is the hypocrisy that is upsetting not that LeBron, the NBA, etc want or don’t want to be global police, they put themselves in these corners because of what they say about the USA.

  6. Yeah Sam,

    I am betting the NBA will blast China, their business partner that gives them a mountain of cash, just as soon as Clay will start bashing conservatives, the base that gives him a mountain of cash.

    Cancel culture is lame and both sides are embarrassing. These ‘GOTCHA’ articles are LAME.

    • Intentionally or unintentionally, you’re missing the point. If Clay quietly did the university speech circuit getting paid large speaking fees to speak at liberal schools condemning conservatives, and then came back loudly advocating conservative values – that would be the same, and he should be called out. I don’t think the point here is the NBA shouldn’t be doing business with China under any circumstances, the world isn’t a perfect place and a vast number of companies who go uncriticized in conservative media do – but they don’t preach. The reason the NBA draws such ire is it is constantly, loudly, and patronizingly preaching values and condemns those who don’t sufficiently share them here in the US – and then these same folks turn around and ignore their own values for China in exchange for large amounts of money. It’s the hypocrisy that makes people so mad. If you shut up and make your money its generally fine, or if you want to preach but live by your own sermons also generally fine (even if I disagree). But if you try to have it both ways depending on what is convenient to making money, they people will call you out.

      • Well said. can’t speak for everyone but that captures my thoughts…The NBA draws my ire because they preach to us about how evil we are and they even used all of their preaching to push the liberal agenda, support resisting arrest, support “mostly peaceful protests”, and support cancel culture. When in reality they only care about themselves. The NBA’s hypocrisy is astounding. They disgust me.

    • I agree that some articles on Outkick have become more and more click bait fodder which makes it no better than any of the lefty platforms we complain about all the time. That being said, no publication is perfect (I don’t like every single article on The National Review for instance or every single take of Tucker Carlson) but on here to me the point is that there are differing opinions that don’t see the light of day on other platforms and other places that don’t get cancelled. Not trying to be a canceller or dick but if its so distasteful to you don’t renew your membership.

  7. The NBA, Silver, and LeBron don’t give a shit about slave labor. They’ve already made that obvious. China viewing homosexuality as a mental disorder will probably get swept under the rug. It’s all about the money and they don’t want anything to fuck with that CCP gravy train.

          • yes HumboltBucky was on point I agree with you on that. My reply was to the VIP who commented just below yours. The VIP that keeps changing his name from “RickH” to “Dragon” to “Lebrons ball washer” to whatever…..But yeah, Humboltbucky is on point. It is the hypocrisy of the NBA that is disgusting. They along with other brandbuilding social justice warriors are getting rich off of the “tear down America” industry that they seem to have created……………also, slightly off topic but still on topic of NBA, I don’t know how anyone can watch their product. the product is shit these days. A bunch of spoiled brats who chuck up 3’s all game then hang out afterwards taking pics for instagram and scheming how to get traded to their buddies teams. the players themselves don’t even care about the games that much

  8. Lol…the ultimate rock and hard place. Supporting the rainbow flag corporate bucks or the China commie bucks?

    Sidenote…until 1973 homosexual behavior was considered a mental disorder in the pyschology field.

    Finally if you ever read history…Commie governments are fine with gay discos until it accomplished its purpose of destroying marriage and the family. Then the commies can come in and take away the gay discos because they are in power.

    • I was just about to post the same Ray. This isn’t such a shocking admission on homosexuality’s classification as a mental disorder. This is not China’s biggest issue causing global concern. That would be their godless, totalitarian, communist mission to dominate everyone. Homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder in the DSM, unopposed, until 1973 at the whim of a board of psychiatrists. They apparently changed it because of political pressure instead of any scientific studies or backing. Just…changed their minds. Like it or not, that’s the truth. It’s a free country, but that doesn’t necessarily make everything we do good.

  9. The big picture irony for me is how so many people who have benefitted from America’s promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (and unbelievable wealth) take every opportunity to criticize the US for her “shortcomings”, past or present, and it’s crickets when evil upon evil committed by China is blatantly exposed.

  10. Not one of the fan boi or girl media folks who cover the NBA for ESPN, The Athletic or any other outlet will dare to ask the commissioner, Adam Silver, or any of the league’s stars like LeBron or Curry about China’s position on gays. As long as the people and organizations they cover are sufficiently woke, they are happy to be publicists, not reporters. But if one owner — oops, “governor” — contributes 50 bucks to a conservative candidate somewhere, they want that person to have his franchise taken away.

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