The NBA’s disgraceful submission to its Chinese overlords

The NBA’s disgraceful submission to its Chinese overlords, by Rich Lowry.

The National Basketball Association disgraced itself kowtowing to the Beijing regime after the general manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, tweeted his support for Hong Kong protesters. The words he associated himself with — “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong” — would seem uncontroversial. …

Morey, though, failed to adequately account for the feelings of the dictatorship. “I was merely voicing one thought,” he said in a groveling tweet after deleting his original offending one, “based on one interpretation, of one complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives.”

The “other perspectives” are those of people supporting a ­regime that is determined to crush Hong Kong under foot, maintain a one-party state that stifles all internal dissent, brutally repress Uighur Muslims, grab the South China Sea, build up its military with an eye to a future confrontation with the United States and rewrite the rules of the international order to its liking.

But who’s to judge?

In its own lickspittle statement, the NBA said that Morley’s views “have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable.” It appears that the Chinese-language version was even more extravagantly craven, saying that the league is ­“extremely disappointed” in the GM’s “inappropriate” tweet that “severely hurt the feelings of Chinese fans.”

If you follow the NBA and missed the part where Red China stole the league’s soul, it’s only because you haven’t paid enough attention to the international business. China is a huge and growing market for the NBA. When Chinese sponsors and partners of the Rockets began to pull out, the team and the league buckled.

It’s a matter of filthy lucre, pure and simple. In retrospect, all the old Soviet Union would have needed to distort corporate America for its purposes was a large and lucrative market. Too committed to communism, Moscow never managed to create one. Via its hybrid system of semi-capitalism wedded to a repressive one-party state, Beijing did. The resulting riches and potential customers allow it to yank the chain of an array of American businesses, including the NBA.

The joke of it is that here at home, the league flaunts its woke social conscience.

The NBA used the leverage of its All-Star Game coming to Charlotte to force changes to a North Carolina bathroom bill, in the name of “equality.”

One would think that re-education camps for a million Uighurs — to pick just one of China’s human rights abuses — are much worse than any choice North Carolina makes about its restrooms. …

Left activism is often only cheap virtue-signaling:

So long as social activism is costless — or enhances its reputation among the right people in the United States — the NBA is all about its values. But as soon as there is any price, the league is willing to ­salute smartly at the dictates of one of the most cynical, self-interested regimes on Earth.