Thursday, October 10, 2019

Social Responsibility Lacking

There was a time when NBA players cared about injustice,such as when

Several players on both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets, including LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Kyrie Irving and Deron Williams, wore black "I Can't Breathe" T-shirts during pregame warm-ups Monday, following in the footsteps of Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose who wore the same shirt in a game Saturday to show support for the family of Eric Garner.

A couple of years earlier

It was the morning of Game 5 of the Warriors' 2014 first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers. Four days earlier, TMZ had published voice recordings of then-Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist statements to his mistress, V. Stiviano, throwing the NBA into a tailspin....

The NBA's players were appalled. They threatened to boycott playoff games if new NBA commissioner Adam Silver didn't get rid of Sterling quickly and definitively.

"There's no room for that in our game," LeBron James, then of the Miami Heat, said the morning after the tapes were released. "Can't have that from a player, we can't ever from an owner, we can't have it from a fan, and so on and so on. It doesn't matter if you're black, white, Hispanic or whatever the case may be. We can't have that as part of our game."

Sterling was forced to sell his team and was banned from the the league for life. However, social activism goes only so far with multi-millionaire athletes when the NBA has billions of dollars riding on its deals with the nation popularizing the concentration camps. Now massive protests by Hong Kong residents rile mainland China and

As the dispute between the NBA and China escalated, one of the first on-court stars to speak publicly was 2018 most-valuable player James Harden.

“We apologize. You know, we love China. We love playing there,” Harden said from a Houston Rockets practice in Tokyo. Standing next to All-Star teammate Russell Westbrook, he added, “For both of us individually, we go there once or twice a year. They show us the most important love.”

The athletes are not the primary forces which are enabling and bolstering the Beijing butchers. Activision Blizzard and Apple are more worthy of condemnation, and the NBA's office itself bears responsibility for the league's response to the hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents demanding greater liberty. Still, as Donald Sterling learned, when King James (LeBron) and other superstars- such as Adidas spokesperson and NBA offensive juggernaut, James Harden- speak, commissioner Silver and the owners listen.

Which is only one reason this is disgusting:
Whatever isolated tweet there may be in a nation of 350 million people, there have been relatively few about the apathy of black athletes; only about athletes.  Black NBA players have been criticized because they are the majority of the players in the NBA and, to an even greater extent, the majority of the superstars. The media asks them about trending topics because fans and the general public wants to know what they believe.  Nobody cares what DonteDiVincenzo thinks.

When the roster of companies which profit off their business with China include Boeing, Proctor & Gamble, General Electric, Visa, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, Johnson & Johson, Ford. GM. Starbucks, and Papa John’s, things must be kept in perspective. NBA players can be only a part of the solution but have considerable influence, when they assert it, over league policies. And ascribing racial motivation to their critics only strengthens the regime in China and excuses their enablers in the USA's corporate sector.

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