Nike has been curiously silent in response to China’s censorship of the NBA. That’s a stark contrast to when the self-proclaimed free-speech advocates sided with kneeling NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick when he protested the national anthem.
Last year, Nike lionized Kaepernick as a hero with its “Believe in something” ad campaign to support Kap’s protest of the American flag.
However, Nike’s silence in the face of communist China’s attempts to censor NBA officials who support the pro-democracy Hong Kong protesters is deafening.
All this underscores that athletic brands like Nike love to virtue-signal and make empty gestures to pander to left-wing consumers. But when real courage is needed, they fold like a deck of cards.
Last week, Nike stores in China pulled Houston Rockets merchandise amid the regime’s fury over a tweet posted by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey.
Under pressure from the Chinese government, Morey apologized profusely. The NBA then followed up with its own groveling apology to China. Keep in mind that most people in China never saw Morey’s tweet because Twitter is banned in China.
The NBA, China, and now LeBron James elevated Daryl Morey's innocuous tweet about Hong Kong into an international incident by addressing it instead of not commenting.
FEW PEOPLE in China saw it b.c Twitter is banned in China! Talk about Streisand effect.
Now you just remember
— Samantha Chang (@samantha_chang) October 15, 2019
Rather than back the NBA, Nike hasn’t said a word about the censorship for fear of hurting sales in the massive Chinese consumer market. Nike scored revenues of $6.2 billion in China during fiscal year 2019.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio observed: “As China strong arms the NBA into silence, still waiting for Nike and their stable of “woke” social justice warrior/athletes to speak out.”
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 7, 2019
Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk asked: “Does anyone remember Nike’s ad campaign with Colin Kaepernick? The slogan was ‘believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.’ So why are they kowtowing to the Communist Party of China right now? Is that what they believe in?”
Does anyone remember Nike’s ad campaign with Colin Kaepernick?
The slogan was “believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything”
So why are they kowtowing to the Communist Party of China right now?
Is that what they believe in?
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) October 11, 2019
One athlete tweeted: “Money over morals…Nike owns the NBA and China owns Nike!”
Money over morals…
Nike owns the NBA and China owns Nike!
— 🆎🧢 (@ab89) October 15, 2019
Nike isn’t the only entity that has spotlighted its hypocrisy amid this stunning scandal.
As BizPac Review reported, NBA superstar LeBron James sided with communist China over Daryl Morey by saying Morey shouldn’t have tweeted his support for the Hong Kong protesters.
James explained that Morey “was not educated” about the situation, and therefore should have kept his mouth shut. Keep in mind that the Hong Kong activists are protesting FOR democracy and for free speech.
The youth in Hong Kong reacted by burning LeBron James jerseys in the streets.
(Source: Tucker Carlson Tonight)
China gloated about the NBA’s cowardly submission with a smackdown in China Daily:
“Let’s hope the incident with Morey and the Houston Rockets will teach other companies a lesson. The big Chinese market is open to the world, but those who challenge China’s core interests and hurt Chinese people’s feelings cannot make any profit from it.”
Fox Business host Charles Payne called Nike’s response to the controversy “absolutely disgraceful.” Payne added: “Maybe the NBA could grow a spine.”
Latest posts by Samantha Chang (see all)
- ‘Do not go there!’ Judge Jeanine and Juan Williams get into heated shouting match on ‘The Five’ - November 19, 2019
- Colin Kaepernick’s failed PR stunt backfires: ‘He don’t want to play…he wants to be a martyr’ - November 18, 2019
- Trump slams ‘nasty, obnoxious’ Chris Wallace for ‘dumb & unfair’ interview with Steve Scalise - November 18, 2019