“Un-freaking-believable,” Rod Dreher adds. “In Philadelphia, the birthplace of American freedom! This is the United States of America, not the Communist Party of China’s b*tch. Every single NBA fan should go to every single game wearing shirts or carrying signs defending Hong Kong. What a disgrace these craven American businessmen are.” Dreher’s post is headlined, “NBA, Stop Being Beijing’s Enforcers.”
Related: “If you’ve watched and read how the NBA is covered over the past few years, you know this is not how the league is covered. Unlike with most things now — football, politics, business, entertainment — the NBA is the sole remainder of fun, positive coverage. Hosts on ESPN, writers at Bleacher Report, The Ringer, Twitter users, and podcast hosts spend most of their time talking about how great the games are, the exciting players, the trades, the free agent movement, and hyping meaningless regular season games. The NBA conversation is absent of criticism even when it’s warranted. Not many have mentioned how anticlimactic the NBA Finals have been, now have they? With this latest development [Daryl Morey’s statement on Hong Kong, not the 76ers story above — Ed], these same outlets and personalities are now forced to discuss the league they love from a standpoint they have not been willing to see it from. It’s awkward, uncomfortable, and telling.”
Speaking of which: “After a Marriott Rewards employee ‘liked’ a Jan. 9 tweet by the ‘Friends of Tibet’ group praising the questionnaire, Chinese authorities called in Marriott officials for questioning, shut down their Chinese website and mobile apps, and demanded an apology. The Jan. 11 apology from Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson parroted the language the Communist Party uses to describe groups that stand opposed to Chinese repression or advocate for Tibetan autonomy…For now, Marriott seems more concerned with how it is viewed in Beijing than in Washington. A Marriott spokeswoman said the company had no response to the concerns of lawmakers or human rights groups about its behavior.”
The employee was ultimately fired: Marriott Hotels fired an hourly employee for liking a tweet by a Tibetan separatist group.