We need to talk about China

NBA fumbles in chasing Chinese market

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If you’ve been following sports the past couple of days, you should be aware of how NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was put to the test by this tweet made by Rockets GM, Daryl Morey.

This tweet immediately blew up and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta and the NBA proceeded to throw Daryl Morey under the bus in an effort to salvage ties with Chinese fans and officials. But the Chinese immediately pulled away. Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) along with Vivo and Tencent Sports (all Chinese streaming companies) suspended ties with the NBA and declared that they will not stream any Houston Rocket games. Today, Adam Silver released this statement clarifying the NBA’s stance on the issue.

But judging from the initial NBA reaction, it’s clear to me where Adam Silver stands and it’s with big money. That’s unfortunate because I thought we were really getting along well. Now, this is still a big issue but today, I’m going to be talking about an issue that is much larger in scope.

The power dynamic between superpowers

Now, NBA aside, I want to talk about, in general, the power dynamic between China and the United freaking States of America. I bring this up because Apple recently region locked the Taiwan flag emoji from their phones located in Hong Kong and Macau. In addition, gaming company Blizzard recently banned a professional e-sports player for a year for speaking his opinion on the Hong Kong matters. Now, I’m aware that we live in a capitalist society and I know that losing China can very well mean losing billions of dollars for these technology giants.

But what does the removal of an emoji that represents a democratic country in order to appease a tyrannical government that has killed and sent millions of people to concentration camps (rebranded as re-education camps) say about us as a nation? What does it say about the power dynamic between China and the United States? Don’t worry, I’ll answer that for you.

It says that we cast all of that aside if the price tag is big enough. Imagine that, a country built on ideals and technological innovation, throwing away morals and integrity to see some numbers go up. Now, I wouldn’t know what it is like being tempted with billions of dollars so who am I to judge those that are put to that test? But what I do know how much blood and sacrifice it cost in order for me to live a decent life here in the States. For me to have freedom of speech and expression. For me to be able to vote. For me to have a great go at life.

People around the world don’t have that same luxury and there are people are still fighting for that. Hong Kongers have been protesting since June! It is up to us, as the arbiters of the free world, to inspire people to fight for the very same luxuries and they should know that we will be there to support them on their path to freedom. Because if we don’t, then haven’t we all sold out and given up on our own history?

I am positive that we won’t and we can begin by supporting Hong Kong.

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