Something truly worrisome is occurring in the wide world of sports this year, and it reeks of authoritarianism.
Earlier in 2019, the General Manager of the NBA’s Houston Rockets issued a simple tweet, showing solidarity with the people of Hong Kong and their fight for democracy. This is, after all, one of the most basic tenets of the American experience, and those of us fortunate enough to enjoy the freedoms of the United States often find ourselves with a sense of duty to protect and support those who are fighting for just such liberty.
The problem was that Hong Kong’s democracy is not something that China is in favor of, and being one of the largest emerging markets for the NBA, Beijing’s leadership slapped the league with a fairly substantial boycott. Soon, the NBA was trotting out LeBron James for damage control and completely capitulating to the Communist regime.
In essence, China’s economic power was being used to shape American culture – something that rightfully angered a great many citizens of the United States.
Now, in yet another sign of Beijing’s blatant authoritarian leanings, a former NBA player currently contracted in China has been fined for not gazing upon the Chinese flag before a game.
Guerschon Yabusele, a former Boston Celtic who plays for the CBA’s Nanjing Monkey Kings, bowed his head an did not look at the Chinese flag during the anthem. As a result, Yabusele was fined 10,000 Yuan ($1,400).
Yabusele defended himself.
“I have the same routine, I’ve been doing this my whole career and I wanted to apologize for the people that took it Personnal [sic] because it was not my point,” Yabusele told TMZ Sports. “I will show my respect during the Chinese national anthem and keep my head up for now on, Love you guys.”
This serves as yet another reminder that the freedoms that we enjoy here in the United States are not to be taken for granted.
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