On Wednesday, the National Basketball Association (NBA), the game schedule was released. To encourage voter turnout, the league decided not to play any games on the evening of the midterm elections, which is November 8. Instead, all teams will be playing the day before on “civic Engagement night”. Enes Kanter freedom, an ex-NBA player and devout Muslim of Turkish descent, has spoken out against the league’s politics, saying that the NBA encourages votes towards a particular party.
The issue though is, that the #NBA subliminally encourages players to vote for a certain party.
I had coaches lose their jobs over expressing conservative values,
players & staffers who had to hide who they support & vote for or they will get hated on the rest of the season. pic.twitter.com/GzznfABxwx
— Enes FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) August 16, 2022
We reported previously on Freedom’s appearance on Tucker Carlson, where he stated that leaked recordings showed the NBA was “run by the Chinese Dictatorship.” Freedom is believed to have abruptly left the league due to his criticisms of the Chinese Communist Party and the Turkish government, as well as for his comments about the treatment of Uyghur Muslims and the ethnogenocide they are subject to in China. Republicans were not surprised. Members of the Florida delegation, including Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Michael Waltz, sent a letter to Adam Silver in March.
“… The NBA continues to ignore the CCP’s egregious human rights violations, which allows CCP politics to play an important role in the NBA’s business decisions. This was most recently demonstrated by the abrupt ending of Enes Kanter’s freedom’s NBA career.”
Concerning the “business decisions”, we know that NBA team owners have billions at risk in Chinese business deals and investments. This is according to ESPN.
The owners were right to remain silent: In addition to the $5 billion in revenue from China’s NBA, many of them also have substantial personal stakes through other businesses.
ESPN examined the investments made by 40 principal owners. It found that their total holdings in China exceed $10 billion. One owner has a joint venture with a U.S.-approved entity.
It is not that the NBA and its owners aren’t interested in activism to protect their Chinese business ventures. CNN reports that they are leading the charge in sports activism.
Steph Curry and Carmello Tony starred in a Spike Lee-directed PSA about gun violence. Former President Barack Obama was involved in the creation of the Social Justice Coalition. The common practice of kneeling during the National Anthem and the words “Black Lives Matter” painted on the basketball court, where coaches and players were kept in a “bubble”, Orlando, during the pandemic-mania 2020.
The NBA is interested in activism but not the type where you can freely express your views.
The NBA withdrew an All-Star game that was being held in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2017 due to a law that required transgender people to use their natural sex. According to the league, this is good activism.
Daryl Morey, Houston Rockets General Manager, tweeted an image in 2019 that said “Fight for Freedom.” Standing with Hong Kong” caused a swift backlash across the league and among its Chinese counterparts, until Morey was forced into an apology. According to the league, that’s bad activism. It’s likely that China boycotted NBA games in China following the Morey tweet. This is bad news for business.
Utah’s bathroom bill was passed this year. Governor Spencer Cox (R), vetoed it and the legislature overrode the bill shortly thereafter. The most important monetary stake in the fight was whether the NBA would relocate their 2023 All-Star game from Salt Lake City. It can be difficult to grasp the influence of the NBA on politics, even though they claim this is all non-partisan civic activity. Gossiping about the Beijing Olympics, for example, is bad activism. This is despite the fact that there were no acceptable transgender bathroom laws… or fundamental freedoms.
So long as the bankrupt behavior is profitable, it is acceptable. They have turned into the very thing they hate: a class-struggle theatre populated by multi-millionaires, corporate wealth wrapped in a Marxist pretext, and beneficiaries who support status quo power structures. They have the moral high ground and can tell you what issues are important. Did you really think that this was a game?