Hawley Confronts NBA over China: ‘Time for You to Show a Little Backbone’

Josh Hawley
Getty Images/ Chip Somodevilla

Republican Senator Josh Hawley has accused the National Basketball Association of lacking spine after the league’s weak response to and continued business dealings with, human rights abuser China.

During an address on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Hawley (R, MO) slammed the NBA for a lack of values, Yahoo News reported.

Telling the NBA that, “It’s Time for You to Show a Little Backbone,” Hawley went on to say, “Sometimes in the course of history, the fate of one city defines the challenge of an entire generation,” Hawley said in the capitol on Wednesday.

The Senator went on to pound the league for forgetting where its loyalties actually lie.

“You may be multinational corporations who do business everywhere in the world but remember that you are based here in the country,” Hawley warned. “Remember — the NBA should — that they are an American corporation.

“It’s time for these companies to remember where their loyalties actually lie,” Hawley continued. “For too long now, for too many years now we’ve seen too many of these companies and these same corporate executives who make money hand-over-fist in china, we’ve seen them happily send our jobs to China, we’ve seen them happily outsource our work to China, and now they want to import censorship into this country from China.”

Hawley also used his address to call for Congress to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, a bill calling for the U.S. to officially recognize the pro-democracy movement in the semi-autonomous region.

“The situation in Hong Kong is urgent, and the people of Hong Kong are looking to the United States and to other freedom-loving peoples around the world for support and for strength,” Hawley said. “It’s time that we sent them the message and that we called on our allies to do the same, that we must stand with Hong Kong, because our own security and our own ideals are at stake.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @WTHuston.

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