“sports owners and global autocrats aren’t such strange bedfellows”
October 8, 2019 10:49 AM   Subscribe

The raging controversy over the NBA, China, and the Hong Kong protests, explained [Vox] “On Friday, Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted something a bit outside his lane as a sports guy but fundamentally banal in the context of American public opinion: “fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” [...] But Morey turns out to have stepped onto a much bigger landmine — Chinese politics, just as the National Basketball Association grows more thirsty to get into the Chinese market. Morey got himself denounced by the Chinese consulate in Houston and by the owner of his team. His tweet was deleted, the Chinese Basketball Association announced that it is suspending all cooperation with the Rockets, Morey was made to apologize, and the NBA put out a statement [2nd follow-up statement] characterizing his tweet as “regrettable” and clarifying that his support for Hong Kong protesters “does not represent the Rockets or the NBA.” The Rockets are reportedly considering firing Morey in an effort to appease the Chinese. Meanwhile, the NBA’s eagerness to squash a backlash in China is prompting its own backlash in American politics.”

• Adam Silver Issues Statement Meant To Appease Everybody; China Doesn't Buy It [Deadspin]
“NBA commissioner Adam Silver has released a second public statement regarding the controversy over Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protests, and the Chinese government’s punitive response to the tweet. The league office’s first attempt at an official response, issued over the weekend as the full scope of the Chinese government’s reactionary tantrum was still taking shape, amounted to Hey, don’t ask us about that Morey individual, we at the NBA are friends of the People’s Republic of China. As you might imagine, this went over very badly with critics from basically all sectors of American politics, who rightly saw it as an American sports league rolling over for a repressive totalitarian regime for the sake of preserving its ability to sell things to that regime’s subjects. In the new statement, which acknowledges the failure of the first, Silver is at pains to clarify that actually, the NBA is good, strongly supports everybody thinking it is good, and has values.”
• The NBA’s Convenient “Non-political” Stance Comes at a Cost [The Ringer]
“If you look at the swirl of demands, statements, apologies, retractions, overreactions, and poses that followed Morey’s original tweet, this might look like a complicated story, a story of accidental cultural conflict brought about through deep geopolitical nuance. It isn’t. It’s just another nasty little farce about money and power and the breathtaking speed with which 21st-century capitalists are prepared to sell out democracy for a Skee-Ball token. The Chinese market is strategically important to the NBA’s global expansion. The Rockets, the team that drafted Yao Ming in 2002, are the second-most-popular team in China, according to a recent survey. The Chinese authorities, like most autocratic governments, love manufacturing controversies that let them pretend to have the moral high ground while stirring up nationalist sentiment on social media. Everyone in this situation is acting out the role dictated to them by this set of circumstances. Almost none of it has to do with principle, or even with sincere belief.”
• Colliding With China, the N.B.A. Retreats With a Bruised Spine [The New York Times]
“The N.B.A. faces an existential problem. For the better part of a decade, the league’s leading players and coaches have spoken out, often eloquently, on issues like police brutality, gay rights, guns and the president of the United States. They even toppled the retrograde racist owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. The league capitalized handsomely. Its audience was young, hip and politically liberal, and the N.B.A. marketed itself as the most woke of pro leagues. And then one of its general managers decided to tiptoe beyond the boundaries of this nation. “The league enjoys LeBron James being a spokesman back in Akron and Cleveland and speaking out on American politics,” noted Victor A. Matheson, an economist of sports and a professor at College of the Holy Cross. “Where it messes with you is that the N.B.A. does not necessarily want its folks to be outspoken on China.””
• The NBA Chooses China’s Money Over Hong Kong’s Human Rights [Rolling Stone]
“The Rockets and the NBA could have stood up for Morey, for decency, and for the protesters and their human rights. More than 2,000 have been injured in months of demonstrations that the Chinese government characterizes as “riots,” but selling sneakers, jerseys, and the game But they instead folded all too readily, all too eager to hold onto the dollars that they glean from the Communist nation. The NBA issued a sorry statement, declaring the league realizes that the tweet may have “deeply offended” Chinese fans and that they “have great respect for the history and culture of China,” as if that had anything to do with a bill that could be used to disappear journalists and critics of an autocratic regime. Morey, who The Ringer reports was at one point in jeopardy of losing his job, tweeted his own apology that read like it was dictated by his boss. Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai, a co-founder of Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba, published an open letter on Facebook that referred to protesters as a “separatist movement.” Even James Harden, the Rockets’ star guard, issued a mea culpa for some reason, even though he wasn’t involved.”
posted by Fizz (63 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
Related: This is also not just an issue in the sports world but also in eSports:

Hearthstone player banned for supporting Hong Kong protesters during live stream [The Verge]
“Blizzard has issued a year-long ban to a Hearthstone player who expressed support for the Hong Kong protestors during a competition live stream. The US-based game developer and publisher is also withholding any prize money he would have earned from competing in the tournament. The incident occurred on Sunday, when Ng “Blitzchung” Wai Chung was being interviewed after a Grandmasters match. At the end of the interview, InvenGlobal reports that Blitzchung pulled down his Hong Kong protester-style mask to yell, “Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our age!” The stream then quickly cuts to a commercial break. Seemingly worried at the potential repercussions for its Chinese business interests, Blizzard responded to the incident by banning Blitzchung from competing in Hearthstone tournaments for one year, effective from October 5th. He will also no longer be able to take part in the Grandmasters tournament, and will lose any prize money earned during Grandmasters Season 2.”
*sighs*
posted by Fizz at 10:50 AM on October 8 [13 favorites]


And I just saw the post underneath this one.
posted by Fizz at 10:51 AM on October 8 [8 favorites]


Twitter, of course, is not available in China, so it's unclear who he would have offended other than the totalitarians running the country.
posted by jenkinsEar at 10:58 AM on October 8 [15 favorites]


The revolution will not be televised
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruption
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:00 AM on October 8 [21 favorites]


Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai, a co-founder of Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba, published an open letter on Facebook that referred to protesters as a “separatist movement.”

direct link to statement.
posted by Groundhog Week at 11:06 AM on October 8 [3 favorites]


This timeline is so weird.
posted by a complicated history at 11:13 AM on October 8 [9 favorites]


Joe Tsai: Oppression is good, because history!

Because a guy who owns an NBA team has any idea what life is like for your average Chinese person. So he's gonna educate you. What an asshole.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:15 AM on October 8 [3 favorites]


Profiles in courage this month, truly.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:18 AM on October 8 [10 favorites]


Waiting for a player not under Nike contract to speak up now.
posted by ejoey at 11:20 AM on October 8


I'm curious about Joe Tsa's take on Tienanmen square.. His response is worse than the NBAs..
posted by k5.user at 11:22 AM on October 8




This timeline is so weird.

Maybe, although recent months in HK are a cyberpunk dystopia you could have read about in the 80s. Economically this world was long predicted too - there are no competing economic or political systems in the modern day; capital can move freely but labor can't. Things will only get more oppressive until we (or the planet) reach a breaking point.

As noted on The Press Box podcast this morning, the NBA is throwing its weight around with respect to sports media coverage too, which is largely silent. This is a mega-story that would otherwise drive several weeks worth of content, but nary a peep out of ESPN or Adrian Wojnarowski (a journalist with real power within the league).
posted by MillMan at 11:26 AM on October 8 [10 favorites]


Titans of industry like to conflate capitalism with democracy but this whole NBA brouhaha is really putting the lie to that idea, isn’t it?
posted by Big Al 8000 at 11:27 AM on October 8 [18 favorites]


As far as I can tell, the Free Market isn't beholden to ideology, democracy or morality. This is the clearest example of who we have become as Americans.

We elected* a con man, business criminal and amoral douchebag to the highest office in the land, and now the rest of the world sees that it can manipulate us easily because, well, we very desperately want those greenbacks.

IMO, this event is iconic. I think it might be the turning point, and not in the right direction, for the US. Say goodbye to "greatest nation" status.
posted by Chuffy at 11:29 AM on October 8 [10 favorites]


For what it’s worth, if the Rockets has fired Morey, he would’ve had job offers from the Knicks, Lakers and at least 2 other teams before he finished driving home.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:30 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


As noted on The Press Box podcast this morning, the NBA is throwing its weight around with respect to sports media coverage too, which is largely silent. This is a mega-story that would otherwise drive several weeks worth of content, but nary a peep out of ESPN or Adrian Wojnarowski (a journalist with real power within the league).

Steve Kerr clammed up on this issue.

I haven't looked for Greg Popovich's remarks, but I can imagine he is also going to clam up.

Both of those guys have made millions already, and the GM for the Rockets is undoubtedly comfortable financially.

Money talks.
posted by Chuffy at 11:34 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


Also: money shuts other people up.
posted by at by at 11:35 AM on October 8 [16 favorites]


Fizz: The NBA’s Convenient “Non-political” Stance Comes at a Cost

Good that the headline put "non-political" in quotes, because to delete a tweet is good as broadcasting your politics, and signal to others how they should act in public.


jenkinsEar: Twitter, of course, is not available in China, so it's unclear who he would have offended other than the totalitarians running the country.

It seems that China is focused on standardizing its PR, both from government officials, and anyone who wants money from China.

The NBA, as well as Blizzard, are effectively acting as Chinese PR agencies now. Happy 2019.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:39 AM on October 8 [7 favorites]


“So that was Mrs. Lundegaard on the floor in there. And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And those three people in Brainerd. And for what? For a little bit of money. There's more to life than a little money, you know. Don't you know that? And here ya are, and it's a beautiful day. Well, I just don't understand it.” Marge Gunderson, Fargo

Truly I don’t understand what it would feel like to already be rich beyond measure and agree to keep your mouth shut in this circumstance.
posted by sallybrown at 11:39 AM on October 8 [24 favorites]


Steve Kerr clammed up on this issue.

I haven't looked for Greg Popovich's remarks, but I can imagine he is also going to clam up.


Both of these coaches have historically been honest and forthright about their opinions. If they claim to not understand this particular international issue, as at least Kerr has here, I'm inclined to believe them.
posted by Groundhog Week at 11:41 AM on October 8


Tyler Cowen's take, on Bloomberg: The NBA Called the Right Play in China
posted by Perplexity at 11:42 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


Chuffy: Both of those guys have made millions already, and the GM for the Rockets is undoubtedly comfortable financially.

But couldn't he be more comfortable, financially?
Rivlin concluded that “those with a few million dollars often see their accumulated wealth as puny, a reflection of their modest status in the new Gilded Age, when hundreds of thousands of people have accumulated much vaster fortunes.”
Call it Rich Asshole Syndrome—the tendency to distance yourself from people with whom you have a large wealth differential. (Wired, Sept. 26, 2019)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:42 AM on October 8 [8 favorites]


Truly I don’t understand what it would feel like to already be rich beyond measure and agree to keep your mouth shut in this circumstance.

I think it's one of those things where you (erroneously) feel like the amount you need to have to be rich enough is juuuuust a little more.
posted by ODiV at 11:42 AM on October 8 [8 favorites]


Matt Sheehan reporting on live press conference with Adam Silver:

"As a league we are not willing to compromise those values. And again I'm sympathetic to our interests here and our partners who are upset, and i don't think it's inconsistent to be sympathetic to them and to stand by our principles."

On CCTV decision to not air the games: “It’s not something we expected to happen. I think it’s unfortunate, but if that’s the consequences of adhering to our values, we still think it’s critically important to adhere to those values.”

posted by toastyk at 11:47 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


Tyler Cowen's take, on Bloomberg: The NBA Called the Right Play in China

The shittiest thing about

Okay, let me start over. One of the many shitty things about libertarians is how they love to crow about morals and liberty but, like clockwork, toss all that aside when talking about the behavior of corporations or the rich.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:50 AM on October 8 [38 favorites]


Both of those guys have made millions already, and the GM for the Rockets is undoubtedly comfortable financially.

As noted in the NYT piece, the "woke" politics were profitable, so it was tolerated.
posted by MillMan at 11:50 AM on October 8 [2 favorites]


I think it's one of those things where you (erroneously) feel like the amount you need to have to be rich enough is juuuuust a little more.

I agree with you. And I understand why someone who’s out of options and needs to put food on the table would sell their integrity. I understand why some of the lower-tier players or assistant assistant to the assistant coaches just making it through the season aren’t saying a peep. But these NBA players and coaches and execs with big names, they are selling their own good names and their reputations to their employer for such a paltry thing in return.
posted by sallybrown at 11:52 AM on October 8 [5 favorites]


Tyler Cowen's take, on Bloomberg: The NBA Called the Right Play in China

Man, this is dumb. After all this humiliating grovelling on the part of the NBA, it's become abundantly clear that it's not working particularly well. The Chinese state TV broadcaster still won't show NBA games and it's not even clear what they would accept as an appropriate response to this short of having Morey sent to Beijing in shackles. I don't exactly expect an institution like a sports league to have a serious, principled view on complex, long-standing disputes in countries well outside of its geographical home base, but, man, it sure doesn't seem like their response achieved any conceivable goal other that firmly proving that the upper limit on the value of the NBA's dignity is somewhere below $10 billion. What is the point in throwing away your principles for money if you don't even get the money?
posted by Copronymus at 11:53 AM on October 8 [15 favorites]


> What is the point in throwing away your principles for money if you don't even get the money?

The principles are valued at 0$, while the potential that maybe sometime in the future they'll allow you to make billions of dollars again is valued at more than that.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 12:01 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


I actively avoid watching the NFL, I guess I need to throw the NBA into that mix, which sucks because I genuinely enjoy the sport itself (don't know much about it but I just like to watch the game).

I hate how capitalism & globalism ruins everything. It's just shitty corporations, evil despots, & racist bigots all the way down.

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
posted by Fizz at 12:01 PM on October 8 [2 favorites]


The NBA should leave China [Slate]

China has already played its hand. If Hong Kong is nonnegotiable, there’s nothing to discuss. The subject will become more sensitive, not less, if the Hong Kong police move from tear gas and rubber bullets to the routine use of live ammunition, or if the People’s Liberation Army moves in. Would the NBA muzzle its employees then? Would the players and staff of a globally prominent American company censor their own feelings to protect the Chinese market? Why not take the stand before it gets to that?
...
China may have 1.4 billion people and $4 billion worth of a basketball market, but only the NBA has NBA basketball. That is nonnegotiable in its own way, if the league is willing to stand up for itself.

posted by mstokes650 at 12:04 PM on October 8 [30 favorites]




Black guy takes a knee. Republicans are outraged at the mixing of sports and politics.

White guy sends a tweet. Republicans are outraged at sports not supporting political free speech.
posted by JackFlash at 12:11 PM on October 8 [37 favorites]




There was a 20-minute or so video going around this weekend from some sports show (maybe last year?) fawning over the NBA's China deals, complete with graphs about how awesome the growth was. I can't find it right now; can anyone help? It makes for informative viewing right now.
posted by mediareport at 12:26 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]


Interesting as it is to see both this post and the one just below it on e-sports and the same China problem relating to Hong Kong, I'm surprised at Trump's reach in clamping down on anti HK commentary out of the USA given his promise to Xi on a phone call recently reported.
posted by Mrs Potato at 12:26 PM on October 8


There was a 20-minute or so video going around this weekend from some sports show (maybe last year?) fawning over the NBA's China deals, complete with graphs about how awesome the growth was.

I do not think this is the video you're referencing but I found this explainer video from CNBC from last year that does show how influential and popular the NBA is in China. It is worth a quick watch if you want an overview of some of the broad strokes of the relationship they have with each other.

How the NBA is taking over China | CNBC Sports [YouTube]
posted by Fizz at 12:40 PM on October 8




This week's Hang Up And Listen podcast has a segment on this. They made a few good points:

How can the NBA be so spineless here, after boycotting North Carolina in 2016 over their shameful "bathroom bill"? Are they brave stalwarts of free speech and individual freedom, or craven dogs?

In China, the Rockets aren't just any NBA team -- they are like the NBA team. SO this capitulaiotn is the most-offensive-possible gesture to China.

The podcasters said that the apologies sounded as though they had been translated directly from Chinese, which I think is less the zinger they intended, and more a factual accusation.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:48 PM on October 8 [2 favorites]


It's worth noting that this happened at the single worst time it could have from the NBA's perspective; it's their preseason Global Games week. LeBron James and the Lakers are playing the Nets in Shanghai on Thursday, and in Shenzen on Saturday. This was the week of the year the NBA is doing as much as they can to have as high a profile in China as possible; they've been playing a pair of preseason games in China going back to 2004 (the past 7 season straight).
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:49 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]


Are they brave stalwarts of free speech and individual freedom, or craven dogs?

I think we all know the answer to this question. Any time a corporation has an opportunity to do the right thing, it seems like they always opt for the shitter more craven approach, it's ALWAYS about money and their bottom line. Even when they do something good, it's driven by a desire to profit from good PR.
posted by Fizz at 12:54 PM on October 8 [4 favorites]




Jemele Hill has a solid analysis.
posted by suelac at 1:20 PM on October 8


What's amazing is all the pro-Communist twitter accounts - be they bots or tankies - who are tweeting about "Support California Independence!" and "Give the Indians their land back!"

People.

Those are not the insults you think they are.
posted by GuyZero at 1:24 PM on October 8


anem0ne—That twitter thread is fascinating and terrible, thank you.
posted by adamrice at 1:25 PM on October 8


Jemele Hill has a solid analysis.

I appreciated that she brought up Enes Kanter, who's been blacklisted by the Turkish government in a somewhat similar situation and now can't really leave the US. The NBA's response to an authoritarian government trying an active player in absentia, locking up his family, and threatening to imprison him (or worse), all for the crime of supporting another Turkish exile who's opposed to the current regime, was, of course, basically a shrugging emoji.
posted by Copronymus at 3:20 PM on October 8 [5 favorites]


That really is a terrifying Twitter thread.

Twitter, of course, is not available in China, so it's unclear who he would have offended other than the totalitarians running the country

There are absolutely still people reading and using Twitter in China, and given that is requires use of not-legal technologies to do so the people on Twitter are more likely to be the sort of people who take heart from criticisms of China's restrictions on freedom. Heck, China doesn't even want the legal, government-employed Twitter users to read criticisms lest they get ideas.
posted by schroedinger at 3:26 PM on October 8 [2 favorites]


I don't know that being on Twitter necessarily makes a person in Chine more likely to be skeptical of authority--just as likely that they're wealthier and have fewer rules that apply to them. Messing about on social media is a far cry from supporting free speech, and access to the platform (as opposed to reliable, condoned access to the platform) isn't going to be seen as a big threat.

If using a VPN to get onto Twitter is a condoned bit of rebellion, the fact that it's still not allowed, and can therefore be cut off arbitrarily, means you're not getting a particularly rebellious set of people online. Just entitled people. Like preppie bros driving drunk and growing up to be all about law and order.
posted by pykrete jungle at 3:44 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


And here I thought Major League Soccer and their idiotic policy on various symbols at games was the dumbest intersection of sports and politics. Thankfully they reversed their position but a lot of fans were starting to talk about walking.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:47 PM on October 8


Heard a reference in Canadian media, South Park is in this too?
posted by ovvl at 7:06 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]


It's worth noting that this happened at the single worst time it could have from the NBA's perspective

Does anyone know where I left the world’s tiniest violin?
posted by spitbull at 7:23 PM on October 8 [5 favorites]


> Heard a reference in Canadian media, South Park is in this too?
South Park has allegedly been banned in China after the episode "Band in China", so Trey Parker and Matt Stone issued an "official apology" (referencing the NBA debacle) on Twitter.
posted by invokeuse at 9:28 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


Best apology ever.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 9:33 PM on October 8




The Slate article is dead on. The NBA is exactly the kind of target China is counting on. If the league caves, it’ll be that much easier to get everyone else to fall in line, as we can see happening already with the Hearthstone debacle. Someone on some thread was pointing out that Tencent, a Chinese company, owns bits and bobs of a ton of different companies, and this is just the beginning.

With Trump supposedly promising official silence on Hong Kong for a better trade deal, honestly, I feel like we’re only weeks away from a PLA crackdown in Hong Kong that’ll make Tiananmen trivial by comparison. After all, who’d dare to do anything about it? The head of the US government has already promised not to say a word. I can’t imagine anyone in Asia that would dare to incur China’s wrath by trying to do anything. I mean, look at how hard China smacked down the NBA when one employee dared to say one thing?
posted by Ghidorah at 6:22 AM on October 9 [1 favorite]


Truly I don’t understand what it would feel like to already be rich beyond measure and agree to keep your mouth shut in this circumstance.

I think it's one of those things where you (erroneously) feel like the amount you need to have to be rich enough is juuuuust a little more.


You’re not thinking big enough. A McMansion in the hills, a place in Aspen, 3 Audi s8s, and the ability to buy your kids admission to USC are nothing when billionaires write the laws that result in them paying no taxes, when immigration is closed to ordinary people, when for profit prisons are filled to the brim, when the social contract is dissolved, and laws exist to enforce “stability” rather than protect people’s safety and civil rights. The NBA owners, like every other oligarch right now, are scrambling to achieve the kind of wealth that will buy access to some kind of freedom and security in the post-democracy world while they still can and it doesn’t matter if a few people get squashed in the process. I’m losing my ability to find it quaint when people are “shocked” that Americans are selling out their cherished honorable principles.

These are uneasy times, to say the least. There’s a full on constitutional crisis in Washington. We are merely weeks away from China deciding it can live with the consequences of rolling tanks into Hong Kong and taking care of that shit for good. The NBA controversy is neither surprising or all that big of a deal in context.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:20 AM on October 9 [4 favorites]


[[One deleted; sorry, "kowtow" is one of those terms where people have mentioned it's often used in a problematic way -- even more so in a post about China -- so, better to pick a different way to express that idea.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:39 AM on October 9 [1 favorite]




So one disappointment is that NBA media coverage has largely followed along with Morey's walkback line that Hong Kong's situation is a "complex event" with many interpretations and multiple perspectives. The only basketball podcaster who has come out and said that what China wants for Hong Kong is horrible is Nate Duncan.

I just watched the Daily Show bit about the topic and was also disappointed that Trevor Noah didn't give any context for why people might want to shout "Free Hong Kong" at a basketball game.
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:50 PM on October 9


Welcome to China's blacklist, Adrian Wojnarowski, who apparently hit the like button on Morey's infamous tweet and has now had his Tencent-backed TV show taken away and been denounced at length by one of the people in China who was working on the show.
posted by Copronymus at 11:53 AM on October 14


LeBron Made His Choice, And He Chose LeBron
The Chinese government is not naive. It requires silence on Chinese political choices from its business partners as though they were Chinese citizens, and the NBA has offered just that. It has gagged its employees, or made it clear that speaking out is going to have consequences, so James taking the company line is actually going to be viewed as acceptable speech by the power-drivers with whom he will be spending his post-basketball career. He did what everyone in the NBA is trying to do: have enough from all sides to conflate self-interest and statesmanship. He will fail, because this is a moment that forces a choice.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:32 PM on October 15


Lebron is just finding out that he’s essentially spent all goodwill he earned from the last couple years of being outspoken and trying to lead on important issues. And, supposedly, one of the driving forces behind it is money. Any significant rift with the Chinese market will have a negative impact on league revenue, and the salary cap is based on league revenue. In other words, upsetting China can and will have a direct effect on player salaries. That’s where Lebron is at, realizing that saying anything about China will cost him money, ignoring the fact that he’s got (and will continue to make) more money than even his distant ancestors could ever need, and that’s got him suddenly saying “we can’t just say whatever.”

Having fuck you money doesn’t actually lead to saying fuck you, it leads to making sure you keep getting more money.

And as far as the slaps at Morey as being naive or uneducated, in the article tonycpsu linked, Ratto points out Morey has friends living and working in Hong Kong, and likely has a much clearer understanding of what’s happening in Hong Kong than anyone else in the league or around it who’s chimed in.

After all this, it boggles my mind that there’s months long protests for democracy going on and the world, let alone America is essentially ignoring it because, to paraphrase Enes Kanter’s recent tweet, freedom of speech suddenly costs too much.

It’s amazing how fast the NBA made the NFL look downright appealing by comparison.

All that, and Ratto’s bio at the end of the article is a thing of beauty:

Ray Ratto acknowledges the misinformed because their choices are always clear and easy: “Whatever keeps me from being bothered is what I want. The rest of you are OYO.”
posted by Ghidorah at 3:26 AM on October 16 [1 favorite]


This fucking guy:

Pence Chides NBA, Nike For 'Losing Their Voices' On China

Does he think we don’t know who he works for?
posted by Big Al 8000 at 11:36 AM on October 24


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