Tom Cotton: NBA Has More Leverage than Any Other Industry over China

Sen. Tom Cotton
AP/Jacquelyn Martin

The NBA is unique relative to other industries in terms of its leverage over China given its monopoly on professional basketball, said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), offering his remarks on Thursday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.

Marlow asked about the Chinese government’s influence over entertainment industries, including Hollywood and the NBA. He highlighted the NBA’s acceptance and promotion of left-wing and partisan Democrat politics.

“The ratings for the NBA have been very bad. The NBA is very woke on President Trump and guns and Black Lives Matter, not so much on China,” Marlow said. “People are really starting to get the picture of China as an evil actor on the world stage. It is I think going to affect the way Americans do business. Are you seeing this trend?”

Cotton agreed that U.S. public opinion is shifting on China, with Americans increasingly wary of the one-party state’s geopolitical ambition and conduct.

“I think most Americans do recognize that China poses a threat in so many ways, whether it’s the threat of their military against our sailors and airmen and soldiers and Marines in the Western Pacific, or a threat against our kids from vacuuming up their personal data on TikTok,” Cotton stated. 

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Cotton continued, “More Americans want to see the United States stand up to China, whether it’s elected officials in Washington or Hollywood, who’s particularly notorious for caving to China and takes a lot of Chinese money into its motion pictures or its studios, in general.”

“I think there’s deep disappointment with the NBA, in particular, for the way they’ve interacted with China, when in reality the NBA has more leverage than any other industry dealing with China,” stated Cotton. “Look at our farmers. If China doesn’t buy our farm commodities, then they can buy them from Australia or Brazil or Argentina.”

Cotton explained, “They can’t go anywhere else for NBA basketball, though. NBA basketball has a monopoly, and they have 500 million rabid fans in China. So the NBA would have unusual leverage to stand up to Chinese Communist Party intimidation and demands, yet they refuse to do so. It’s deeply disappointing.”

The NBA’s increasingly aggressive advocacy of left-wing politics is unappealing to many NBA fans, Cotton held.

Cotton concluded, “That is one reason why you’ve seen the declining ratings, in addition to the general sense that, for most people, they use sports as an escape, to get away from the news, or work, or what have you. The idea that you’d sit down next to someone at an arena or ballpark who is diametrically opposed to your politics and still root for same team, as sports gets politicized, I think it takes that rationale for watching a game away from a lot of Americans.”

Breitbart News Daily broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

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