At least one NFL executive is enjoying the NBA’s troubles, joking that the “woke” basketball league is being “hoisted on its own petard” for turning a blind eye to China’s human rights abuse record.
According to Front Office Space, an NFL executive, who wanted to remain anonymous, found the NBA’s kowtowing exceptionally amusing.
“The NFL team official said that now that these players risk losing their own money and sneakers deals in China, it appears they’re scared to address the issue, he said – seemingly complying to the ‘shut up and dribble’ criticism,” the site explained.
“I love seeing the ‘woke’ NBA hoisted by its own political petard,” the executive told the site.
The NBA’s woes began over a week ago when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous jurisdiction over which China is trying to exercise more autocratic control.
The NBA has portrayed itself as the most progressive pro-sports league in the nation with its support for numerous social justice initiatives and strong stances on LGBTQ issues, but China is by any measure far, far worse on human rights than the United States has ever been.
Yet, even as the NBA is quick to attack the United States, the league has meekly come to China’s side on human rights by chastising Morey for his tweet in support of the pro-democracy movement. Worse, many of the league’s loudest voices for criticizing America are suddenly unconcerned over human rights issues where it concerns their big-money partners in China.
Andrew Brandt, a former Green Bay Packers executive, also slammed the NBA for its “selective” progressivism.
“You can’t just say Adam Silver and the NBA are progressives with a blanket statement. Because it seems like it’s selective,” Brandt told the site.
The public perception of the NBA has changed, as a result of the China controversy. To many, gone is its claim to care about the downtrodden and oppressed, and in is the perception that the league is only concerned about the oppressed when it will not cost them any money.
The NBA’s loss of the moral high ground may be giving the league fits, but it is like candy for the NFL.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.