Money Talks: NBA All For Ukraine Now, But Continually Ignores China

Jay Maxson | March 8, 2022
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The NBA gave Enes Kanter Freedom his pink slip last month, but the spineless league cannot smother his voice. The former NBA player, cut from the league in February for angering China (the NBA’s largest market), slammed the league for supporting Ukraine while ignoring China’s crimes against humanity. 

After spotting a photo of his former Boston teammates and coaches wearing pins supportive of Ukraine, Freedom took to Twitter to excoriate them for not speaking out against China. He mentions how, when he was with the Celtics, they begged him not to wear shoes calling for China to grant freedom to Tibet.: 

“How is it fair when I wore shoes to bring awareness about Human Rights violations around the world, @Celtics begged me to remove them and threatened to ban me, #Celtics now wear Ukrainian flag pins. Who approved this @NBPA @NBA  

“Who chooses whose lives are more important? 

“Hypocrites! I see @Celtics coaching staff wearing Ukrainian flag pins, which I support What about Syria, Afghanistan, Uyghurs, Hong Kong, Tibet, Taiwan Why is it okay to speak up about human rights violations there but not in other countries? Is there not much profit from Russia?” 

This is why Freedom has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is viewed as a gutless wonder. While Freedom is championing liberty, the NBA cowers to China so it won’t pull the plug on its television broadcasts.  

China pulled all NBA games in the 2019-2020 season when then Houston General Manager Daryl Morey supported cries of freedom for Hong Kong. China stopped airing Celtics games last fall when Freedom started calling it out as the wicked, enslaving nation it is. 

Also, an ad featuring Freedom in support of free speech and free people ran on television during the Olympics. He’s in this campaign for international freedom for the long haul. 

For the NBA, international relations are all about the money, plain and simple. Outkick’s Anthony Farris cited estimates of the league’s Chinese revenue stream ranging from $200 million to $500 million. China holds that market value like a club over the NBA’s head. There’s no such dynamic with the NBA and Ukraine, no fear factor whatsoever. Thus, the NBA people shamelessly wear pins supporting Ukraine – while paying no mind to China’s atrocities.  

For Commissioner Silver, Job One is appeasing China and keeping that blood money flowing into his league’s bank account. In a previous interview with Time magazine, Silver admitted as much.:

“A so-called boycott of China, taking into account legitimate criticisms of the Chinese system, won’t further the agenda of those who seek to bring about global change. Working with Chinese solely on NBA basketball has been a net plus for building relationships between two superpowers.” 

Make that a decidedly uneven relationship, in China’s favor! Silver’s “net plus” farce comes at a time when China’s citizens have no freedom, Uyghur Muslims are forced into slave labor, Hong Kong is beaten over the head when it seeks freedom and Taiwan is also browbeaten by the Chinese dictators. 

Freedom and others have exposed the NBA and seriously damaged its popularity here at home in the States. But Silver doesn’t care because the domestic market is not Job One for him.