Like other sports heroes, LeBron James, among the NBA’s biggest stars, often opines about political matters.
In 2018, for example, LeBron famously tweeted that “Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere – Our Lives Begin To End The Day We Become Silent About Things That Matter.”
Things That Matter …
Like people fighting for freedom against a Communist government, asks the WSJ.
Meanwhile, abroad, China has systematically violated every tenet of international trade and commerce, details Victor Davis Hanson in NRO.
- It stole copyrights and patents.
- It ran up huge trade surpluses.
- It dumped products at below the cost of production to hook international customers.
- It threatened critics with boycotts, divestments, and expulsions.
- It manipulated its currency.
- It demanded technology transfers from companies doing business in China.
- It created a vast espionage network in Western countries to steal technology.
- It increasingly bullied and threatened its Asian neighbors.
Why, VDH asks, has this criminality abroad and repression at home been contextualized and mostly excused by Western nations?
Westerners, who apologize when Islamists kill cartoonists and journalists for supposedly insulting Islam, do not say a word when China puts a million Muslims into re-education camps, bulldozes Islamic cemeteries, and shuts down mosques.
Outspoken NBA athletes and hip Hollywood celebrities damn the Second Amendment, curse their president, and boycott states they find politically incorrect. But they become abject cowards when it comes to China.
As Jillian Melchior reports in the WSJ, China is using violence and abusing local laws to arrest and punish protesters whose offense is demanding that China honor its promise of autonomy for the territory for 50 years through 2047.
Ms. Lam has set a precedent by using emergency authority, worse may follow. The same law grants her explicit power to censor, arrest, shut down transportation, seize property or enact “any regulations whatsoever” considered “desirable in the public interest.” Protesters especially fear Ms. Lam will try to block WhatsApp, Telegram and the online forum LIHKG, which have enabled them to respond nimbly to the riot police.
Hong Kong already has strict gun control; such a move would give the government a monopoly on communications technology as well as deadly weapons.
Hong Kong protesters who heard LeBron’s remarks trampled on jerseys with Mr. James’s name and denounced him on social media.
Mr. James might hate the comparison, but his comments on Hong Kong are remarkably similar to Donald Trump’s. The U.S. President has muted his criticism of China’s abuses in Hong Kong and last week even offered praise to a visiting Chinese official because the protests in the city had died down. Mass arrests and police violence tend to have that effect.
Mr. James, via corporate sponsor Nike, has huge business interests in China. LeBron signed a lifetime contract with Nike in 2015 that was reported to be the largest deal ever given to an athlete by the brand.
Read more here.