Monday on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said he was open to using congressional subpoena power to investigate the NBA’s financial ties with China.
Included among those who mentioned by host Hugh Hewitt, who asked Hawley about the use of subpoenas, was NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
“That’s a great idea,” Hawley replied. “You know, I sent my letter on Friday that drew the rebuke from the ESPN reporter, was addressed to Adam Silver. And it asked for these answers. And it said listen, you know, again, if you’re going to put these social justice cause statements now on the back of their jerseys, and only a handful of them, Hugh, that NBA corporate has approved, it’s not like the players can put whatever they want on the back of the jersey. NBA corporate has approved a handful.”
“And predictably, they have nothing to say about anything related to China,” he continued. “And for that, they don’t say things like ‘Support our troops’ or ‘God bless America.’ All of that stuff is verboten. You can’t say any of that. So I just asked why aren’t there other slogans on the jerseys, and why don’t you tell us about your relationship with China? So I think that getting these answers is absolutely crucial, and I’m open to just about any avenue to get them.”
Hawley also discussed his dust-up with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Hewitt asked if he would be satisfied with the reinstatement of Wojnarowski, who was suspended by ESPN for an ill-advised email if ESPN were more willing to press the NBA on those financial ties.
“Sure — I mean, that’s, ESPN, here’s the deal,” Hawley said. “ESPN is trying to distract from the fact that they will not stand up to the NBA and ask the tough questions. The NBA is worth over a billion dollars in China, NBA China is. That’s why Hugh, last fall when Hong Kong was in the throes of protests because of the authoritarian crackdown, the NBA would say nothing. And you might remember that the Houston Rockets’ general manager, Daryl Morey when he retweeted, he didn’t even say it himself, he just retweeted one little line that said stand with Hong Kong or free Hong Kong, and oh, my goodness, the sky was falling.”
“He got censored,” he added. “The league came down hard on him. And so I just asked in my letter that I sent on Friday that you reference, I said listen if the NBA’s going to put these social justice statements on the back of uniforms, which is what they’re doing now, why is it that there’s nothing on there about, like, free Hong Kong or the Uyghurs or anything that has to do with the billions of dollars the NBA makes in China. And you see the response from the reporter, and now ESPN, and say oh, you know, well, the reporter, we’ll take care of that. We’ll silence him. But they don’t want to address the core issue, which is the NBA’s relationship with China. ESPN has a slice of that pie. That’s what we ought to be talking about here.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor