Human Rights Violations Don’t Seem To Matter
For the NBA, the authoritarian one-party state known as China seems preferable for their product but not Charlotte, North Carolina. Religious liberty, free speech, assembly, and expression are all punishable offenses in the country where Barack Obama has allowed a $500 billion dollar trade deficit. Yet, legislation protecting personal religious freedoms in North Carolina continue to clear human rights violations in a country the NBA continues to place its product.
In North Carolina, religious liberty legislation was drafted, debated, voted on, and signed into law by the legislative representatives of the people of North Carolina. In China, there is no such process. The “Party” controls, dictates, and mandates all behavior for its citizens.
Involuntary relocation seems not enough. Repressive policies for ethnic groups is not enough. Censorship from print to the Internet is not enough. Is not allowing gay marriage or not accepting certain religions enough?
Adam Silver’s decision to relocate the 2017 NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte based on diversity and inclusion issues represents total hypocrisy. Two NBA games are scheduled in China for October. Clearly both are a marketing and monetary move. Afraid to isolate the LGBT crowd in America by playing in Charlotte, but attempting to expand its brand in a country that doesn’t even minutely resemble democracy or fair treatment of its citizens sends a message that the NBA owner’s representative is concerned about its bottom line.
The NBA’s Charlotte franchise will continue to play its games in Charlotte. There is no move by Silver to relocate the franchise. Yet, just like Facebook, Google, and many others, these businesses are increasingly entering the realm of activism. We don’t want to see “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” “Black Lives Matter,” or “Rainbow Colors” being part of a game. We want to see the best basketball players in the world apply their crafts.
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