Tuesday, during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Fox Sports 1’s “Speak For Yourself” co-host Jason Whitlock offered an in-depth analysis of the ongoing saga involving the National Basketball Association and the Chinese government.
Whitlock explained to host Tucker Carlson much of the NBA’s tack on China was being done on behalf of the shoe companies with ties to professional basketball. That he explained has an impact on U.S. culture.
Transcript as follows:
CARLSON: Jason Whitlock is the host of “Speak for Yourself” on Fox Sports One and he joins us tonight.
So Jason, this seems inexcusable behavior from the NBA. What’s your view of it?
JASON WHITLOCK, FOX SPORTS ONE HOST: Well, I think the cultural impact that China’s influence over a great sport, a great American sport like basketball is just now being exposed at just how dependent the NBA is on the Chinese economy and Chinese money to put on the appearance of how great the league is doing. Without the Chinese money and without —
Because you really have to understand the shoe companies — Nike, Adidas — they run American Basketball from the high school level all the way to the pros and the shoe companies are dependent on the China market and that’s where all of this is coming from.
You see NBA players constantly over the summer, during their offseason, running to China, to do the bidding of their shoe companies and to sell their shoes in the China market. And so the NBA is really being exposed as not nearly as much of American business, as it is a global business, with China, perhaps having more influence over it than even America.
CARLSON: Which is shocking, given that, of course — and shocking because I don’t think most people know that.
CARLSON: But also shocking given that the NBA was, of course, incubated in this country. It wouldn’t have been possible in any other. Basketball was invented in Springfield, Massachusetts in a YMCA. It is the most American of all sports. And I don’t know that there’s any basketball arena that wasn’t subsidized by American taxpayers. So like, how could they possibly take this position?
WHITLOCK: Tucker, the cultural impact of this, and what a great teachable moment it is for most Americans is when people start talking about being a global citizen, I don’t think people really understand what that means for American culture.
And I think for a lot of the everyday, typical American sports fan, this is an educational experience. This is what people have been talking about. We can’t let our corporations, our country being totally driven by China because it’s driving our culture.
These basketball players — LeBron James. James Harden, actually apologized on behalf of Daryl Morey to the Chinese government. We’re apologizing to a communist government, and then we have athletes here and coaches like Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich that rail against our government. We’re the bad guys in the minds of these NBA players and coaches and their little parade of being so woke, all of it to me is at the behest of the shoe companies.
They’re doing the bidding of the shoe companies and protecting China and demonizing us and our culture and dramatically changing our culture. Because these athletes are young and I’m not giving them an excuse, but they’re young. Many of them didn’t go to college or only spent a year or two in college. They don’t understand how they are being used and played to promote a communist, a Marxist agenda.
They have no idea that their actions and a lot of the things they’re promoting, this victim mentality and all the identity politics and oh, everything that America is racist — all of it. It’s all a scam by the shoe companies.
Look how socially aware we are, look how we fight against injustice. No, you’re actually doing a marketing ploy to pretend you have a social conscience, and you’re actually doing the bidding of the communist regime in China.
CARLSON: Yes, maybe the single most racist government in the world. It’s literally an ethno state. And here’s the socially conscious NBA — very quick, it’s a little shocking to me that Kerr of all people who never hesitates to give his opinion and is often lauded for it, can’t manage to say that he takes Hong Kong’s side?
WHITLOCK: Tucker, these guys can rail against our government, our President and be applauded for it. They don’t have the courage to speak out against a communist government, all kinds of human rights violations. It’s the epitome of hypocrisy and cowardice.
CARLSON: It really is. And thank you for putting it in context with the shoe companies. I think that’s the most interesting thing I’ve heard in a long time. Jason Whitlock. Great to see you tonight.
WHITLOCK: Thank you.
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