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90 Comments:
ivankolev said 12 days ago:

A tidbit from the article: > In an indication of how the basketball dispute may be galvanizing some sectors of Chinese society, police in the northeastern province of Jilin said they had arrested on Sunday a 25-year-old man accused of making online “remarks that insult the national flag.”

The man was identified by police only by his family name Wang and his online screen name on the messaging service Weibo. That account showed a photo of a man wearing a Houston Rockets jersey with a cover over his eye—imagery adopted by demonstrators in Hong Kong—and holding a lighter below an upside down Chinese flag.

“I live and die with the basketball team,” the posting said.

magashna said 12 days ago:

Any American basketball fan is fair-weather compared to this guy. Although I wonder if it's the best hill to, possibly literally, die on.

russdpale said 12 days ago:

fun fact, Michael Jordan is the only human to have a statue in china taller than Mao.

joelx said 11 days ago:

We should boycott the NBA and find ways to help bring freedom to China.

pitt1980 said 12 days ago:

The Chinese government's reaction to this seems extraordinarily strong to me.

The NBA is hugely popular there, don't they risk annoying huge chunks of their own population by taking it off the air?

Morey is not even an especially notable NBA figure, Twitter doesn't even work in China, it would have been easy to block news of this in China. It seems like the reaction would cause a Streisand effect there.

Isn't a backlash among the US population over this plainly foreseeable? That doesn't seem like its in their interests.

Working off the assumption that the Chinese government is rational, why is its reaction here so strong?

What other things are about to happen, that make this reaction make sense?

dirtyid said 12 days ago:

Some possibilities, banning NBA could be low cost oblique trade war retaliation. Chinese going to stream for free anyways.

Ramping up Chinese nationalism in response to HK forced the governments hand. This is why CPC tries to contain nationalism normally, it's hard to contain and limits maneuverability. Also CPC foreign propaganda organ is... very inept. NBA is very popular there might actually be backlash.

Punishing western companies for questioning Chinese sovereignty issues as been consistently happening for years. The Chinese response has been completely consistent with past behaviors. They've always been extremely heavy handed on this issue. It's only an issue in the west due to Sino-US tensions being escalated into culture clash / war territory.

Edit, to add on culture, in China, central government influence over companies is perceived as a sign of strength and not fragility. Which leads to naive hot takes here like the government is scared when the opposite is true. Yes, NBA has a huge market but not larger than Chinese sovereignty. Conceding on this point is an existential weakness.

said 12 days ago:
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tanilama said 12 days ago:

> The NBA is hugely popular there, don't they risk annoying huge chunks of their own population by taking it off the air?

That is a mistake. Many hyper-nationalists already called a broad ban on NBA, and so far even the fans need to claim they will give up their interests for their love of the country.

And it is probably that way already. If no further response from NBA satisfying China's official account on this matter, the ban will extend into regular season and NO ONE will question it.

It is grassroot nationalistic parade, the CCP is merely riding it, and even they need to do this carefully.

Donald said 12 days ago:

> The NBA is hugely popular there, don't they risk annoying huge chunks of their own population by taking it off the air?

Yes, by design. The Chinese government is signalling that the NBA is anti-China, just like they did with the iPhone (sales are down over 20% as a result of the government's marketing campaign and market pressure from Huawei.) Patriotic Chinese will get the message and stop watching the NBA.

sgoraya said 12 days ago:

> Morey is not even an especially notable NBA figure, Twitter doesn't even work in China, it would have been easy to block news of this in China.

NBA fan, who will NOT be renewing league pass, checking in. Morey is considered one of the top NBA GM's of one of the top teams (Rockets) that have a strong Sino-centric fan base because of former Rocket great, Yao Ming. Yao was the first Chinese superstar in the NBA. The Rockets are the 'adopted' team of China.

> Isn't a backlash among the US population over this plainly foreseeable?

I agree - I'm not paying for league pass this year. I did not like the response from the NBA.

baumy said 12 days ago:

Another longtime NBA fan here, just backing up what you're saying about Morey. Especially in regards to the NBA in China, he's a fairly significant figure, more so than the original comment implies.

On a different note - I was in the same boat as you and actually wrote an email to the league pass support address (did not get a reply yet) telling them that I had been a customer for years and would not be renewing this year because of the NBA's spineless capitulation to an authoritarian regime. I'm still disappointed they didn't respond correctly more quickly, Adam Silver really needed to make a strong statement over the weekend, but the statements he made earlier this week were much, much better. Unfortunate that it likely only happened because they underestimated the $$$ hit from American customers being pissed, and I'm under no illusion that anything but the bottom line is the primary concern, but I'm curious what you didn't like about Silver's most recent press conference. He pretty unequivocally said that the NBA will not infringe the free speech of its employees and gave the classic "sorry you were offended" non-apology-apology.

Part of me would have liked to see a stronger statement, but I'm also not sure it's the NBA's job to escalate an international relations issue, particularly when many of its players (including LeBron James, who has to be the most valuable asset the NBA currently has) were/are actually in China as this plays out.

I'm holding out a small bit of hope that there will be a stronger statement once no more NBA employees are in China. I have a couple of friends working in NBA front offices and a few rumors have reached their ears that the NBA is afraid to react too much for fear of retaliation in the form of players getting detained and stopped from leaving China (just to be clear, I have zero proof of this, but it seems logical).

pitt1980 said 12 days ago:

On Morey, sure, basketball fans know who he is, and he’s a respected guy, but relative to say LeBron or Harden, in a list of Q scores, he’s certainly behind at least hundreds of other NBA personalities,

And this was a 2 line tweet,

Which again is blocked in China.

I maintain that had the Chinese government just ignored this, or stuck it behind the Great Firewall,

This would be a complete non-story.

Now millions of Chinese citizens are wondering why exactly they can watch the NBA games they enjoy (even if they don’t agree with Morey at all).

the_resistence said 12 days ago:

It couldn't be ignored because the kids of the elites there all have VPNs and access the real/free internet. Someone posted to social media there and it blew up. But no one asks how the tweet was seen in the first place and why access is only for the rich.

yourbandsucks said 12 days ago:

I'm glad Silver took his time and got it right. The response was perfect -- de-escalating, respectful, yet firmly refusing to get into policing their employees, as you say.

The NBA shouldn't be the vanguard of American foreign policy.

baumy said 12 days ago:

My ideal statement would have gone something like this:

"I (Adam Silver) support the principles of democracy and human rights, and stand with the people of Hong Kong in trying to secure those for themselves. The rest of the NBA stands with them as well. We apologize for responding to this incident incorrectly initially, we were deeply worried about losing the Chinese audience for many reasons. Our revenue and growth as an organization is certainly one of them, and additionally we feel that exposure to other cultures, even through the limited lens of broadcasted basketball games, can only be a positive thing for any people. But after some reflection, we've decided that the principles Daryl Morey was expressing support for when he tweeted are ones that we cannot in good conscience shy away from supporting as well, even at potential financial cost."

I realize that this is a pipe dream, and the NBA will never do it. But since you asked =)

You say that the NBA shouldn't be the vanguard of American foreign policy, and I don't disagree with that statement. But if the NBA were to hypothetically make a statement like the above, is that really them being the vanguard? Or is it a group of private citizens (organized under the banner of a for-profit corporation) deciding that there are certain principles they stand for as a company? And what's wrong with that?

yourbandsucks said 12 days ago:

Yeah, I'd call that type of statement being the vanguard, considering the US government is very much not getting involved in the HK matter.

Silver doesn't even have the right to speak for all NBA employees on the matter, which he wisely recognized. He should definitely not be getting out ahead of the State Dept.

baumy said 12 days ago:

Agree to disagree. To me there's nothing more American than citizens/organizations coming out in support of what they believe in, and forcing their representatives to either advocate on their behalf for those beliefs, or face the consequences come the next election. And of course he doesn't have the right to speak personally for all individual NBA employees, but he absolutely has the right to speak on behalf of the NBA itself and the resources it controls. He's actually the only person who does have the authority to do that, it's his job. And if any employees disagree with the direction the organization goes and the principles it chooses to stand for, they are free to seek employment elsewhere.

> [Silver] should definitely not be getting out ahead of the State Dept.

I hope I'm not misunderstanding you, but I can't find another way to read this other than that you think the NBA shouldn't take a stance because the US federal government hasn't taken one. This idea is extraordinarily dangerous in my opinion, and I am vehemently opposed to it.

yourbandsucks said 12 days ago:

I think the NBA shouldn't take a stance because shared love of basketball shouldn't be an international battleground. Even if you're taking a purely American POV, there's a reason we don't weaponize the Peace corps.

From a more global viewpoint.. there are reasons why a lot of Chinese get mad at the idea of westerners expressing an opinion over Hong Kong's system of rule. And it's not because they're brainwashed. Silver probably listened to their perspective, based on his wording.

One could be forgiven for not knowing such a perspective exists, given the HN threads on the matter.

baumy said 12 days ago:

This will be my last reply since it's quite clear we're at an impasse, but I assure you I have been exposed to many more perspectives than just HN, and frankly am offended that you would assume otherwise. I think it reflects poorly on the strength of your argument if you have to resort to "you disagree with me, you must not be as well informed as I am". Particularly when you proceed to not clarify in any way which perspectives you're referring to, it is a sign of arguing in bad faith.

Your comment reads to me as a very thinly veiled "shut up and dribble" [1]. Not quite identical, mostly due to the lack of racist undertones, but the idea is the same. If the NBA standing in support of democracy and human rights creates an "international battleground", the blame for that lies exclusively and totally with China, full stop. These are things worth going to battle over, whether within the context of the NBA, state department negotiations, or anything in between. Your point about weaponizing the peace corps is a complete non sequitur.

I understand, I think as well as any western person can, why the Chinese get upset about this. I'm familiar with their history of issues with territorial sovereignty particularly in the 19th and early-to-mid 20th centuries [2]. I simply completely disagree that said reaction is justified. People advocating for the right to govern themselves to some extent or another, particularly when the alternative is falling under the jurisdiction of an authoritarian regime, is justified precisely 100% of the time, and anyone who thinks otherwise is simply wrong, or yes, brainwashed. Silver may have listened to other perspectives, but I'll eat my hat if he cared at all about them, as opposed to caring about the NBA's bottom line.

[1] https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/02/19/587097707...

[2] for perspective on this issue from someone sympathetic to the CCP https://www.facebook.com/joe.tsai.3781/posts/265337893139152...

yourbandsucks said 12 days ago:

Ok. Cheers.

For the record, I wasn't assuming anything about your exposure to various ideas. Just didn't want to belabor the points. I was snarking the one-sidedness of the board a little bit.

If you wanted to hear what I was thinking:

1) Installing western-friendly government in HK achieves full naval encirclement of China (SK, JP, Phillipines, Taiwan, HK).

2) As you say, there's the history of colonialism, which gets compounded by the importance of 1).

3) We consistently ignore these things from our allies and then get all moralizing when it's strategically advantageous for us. 12 hours ago we let Erdogan invade kurdish syria, and that's just today. I could list another dozen countries/disasters that we're enabling right now.

4) Almost every time we have gotten involved in 'liberating' countries because our values are so great, it's not only had ulterior motivations but it's also been an absolute humanitarian disaster. We did this on their borders twice in the latter 20th century.

When you add all of that up, and mix in the post-colonial resentment.. I can see a reaction of "America in particular can kindly shut up about it". It's not that they can't comprehend democracy, it's that they specifically don't want any American involvement whatsoever.

I'm not saying you have to agree with them -- feel free to join a divestment movement or something -- but they do have their reasons, the issue isn't completely one-sided.

dang said 11 days ago:

I appreciate that you're mostly sticking to the right side of posting respectfully, but you're still breaking the site guidelines by using HN primarily for political and nationalistic arguments. You've posted many dozens of comments in the last week, apparently about nothing else.

Would you please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and use HN as intended? As you surely know, this is a site for intellectual curiosity. Political battle, especially about China, may be dominating the threads lately, but that's not a stable or ok situation—that's the needle going into the red, and we need accounts like yours to not just constantly be ramping that up and making it redder and redder. (I know you're not the only one.) If that happens, eventually the pressure hits a breaking point and the whole thing blows up. I had to go a long way back to find a comment that was distinctively about something else (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20060328, if you're curious).

yourbandsucks said 11 days ago:

You've got a balance of hundreds of comments calling for civilizational confrontation. With dozens of actually racist comments in the mix as well. Over, what, 2 dozen threads in a few days?

Go ahead and ban me if you like but I'm not your problem here. That comment was, if I do say so, mind expanding compared to the raw emotion on display in these threads.

said 12 days ago:
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DeonPenny said 12 days ago:

I feel like people ignore this as if america don't like themselves and won't as a culture retaliate in a worse fashion

KaoruAoiShiho said 12 days ago:

It's more like the reverse. Tencent/CCTV is responding so that they don't get boycotted. The government probably desperately wants this to go away.

AnimalMuppet said 12 days ago:

I think they are very, very afraid. I think they feel like one crack in the dam, and they could lose the whole country. Secure people (or nations) don't have to react like this.

sebastianconcpt said 12 days ago:

Yes, they are way more fragile that they make themselves appear to be.

birdyrooster said 12 days ago:

I am not particularly well versed on Sino-American politics but this seems like a provocation related to the escalating trade war with America. I get the impression from the events of recent weeks that shared commerce and culture are being divided. China seems to be taking its profits, while collecting and consolidating power it has achieved in past decades. It feels like they are getting ready to isolate themselves to a greater degree than ever.

adventured said 12 days ago:

> It feels like they are getting ready to isolate themselves to a greater degree than ever.

There was a split in the road, one went to Dengville, the other went to Xiville. Xi, as a requirement of his personal pursuit of absolute power, chose to aggressively pursue the authoritarian Xiville route. Everything Xi is doing is for self-glorification and not for the benefit of China (which is why he's adjusting presented history and inserting himself everywhere in prominence; if he were actually selflessly serving China's interests, he wouldn't do any of that). Every dictator couches their words and actions in the flag of the betterment of the nation, and it ultimately never is. Before he's done, he will largely wipe out what Deng (and the leaders that followed after) accomplished in modestly liberalizing China.

As China's formerly fast, organic (low debt) growth naturally entirely ebbs away, Xi will have no choice but to begin accelerating cultural lock-down to control the restless population. That is already underway and has been for a few years. The social contract will be noticeably violated and the people will start to rebel. The CPC knows this and will try to stay out in front of it as much as possible.

sebastianconcpt said 12 days ago:

No communist regime is even remotely close to caring about pleasing anyone. Very much the opposite, they'll do literally anything to make you please them. They don't make sense nor try to. Then make power grabbing (and preserving).

sharadov said 12 days ago:

You think the Chinese care about "annnoying" their people. This is a totalitarian regime, which has ruthlessly run over its own people,there is no concept of individual rights, the populace is brainwashed into "nationalism" and that is all that matters. Country over self! Western thought with its ideas of human rights and free speech is alien to them.

dang said 12 days ago:

Please don't take HN threads further into nationalistic flamewar. It's low-quality and repetitive, and invariably turns nasty, and those things make it off topic here.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

sharadov said 12 days ago:

Thanks, that was not my intention.

taobility said 12 days ago:

If the game players don't respect my culture, respect my nation, why would I watch their games?!

sharadov said 12 days ago:

How did they disrespect your culture?

taobility said 11 days ago:

Would you send your black people watermelon as gift?

sharadov said 11 days ago:

You are straight-up making racist comments here.

taobility said 11 days ago:

Okay, I think you should understand something now. Why my comment/behavior are totally fine in other cultures but be racism and offensive here?

jackschultz said 12 days ago:

Posted and talked about yesterday: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21194008

Don't know how people feel about these things being multi-posted, but I kind of like seeing a different thread where more people can comment considering top comments in a thread can be random, and also people's opinions can change as quickly as a day.

supercanuck said 12 days ago:

Agree. Some people don't refresh Hacker News as religiously as others.

drenvuk said 12 days ago:

Eh, maybe I"m reading too much but having 4 or 5 articles on the front page be dedicated to China news is too much for me.

dkonofalski said 12 days ago:

It's clearly a major topic of conversation and discussion, though.

egeozcan said 12 days ago:

Yes and it should be too. On the other hand if you seek content that you can only see in HN and the small amount of similar sites, and when these also get overrun with news that you can already follow on mainstream, it feels like there are no options left. Well maybe except lobste.rs.

trevyn said 12 days ago:

I find the HN “hide” option to work well for uninteresting stories.

corodra said 12 days ago:

American companies are implementing Chinese censorship rules into American society because the companies are afraid of offending the communist party.

China has wide scale prison camps for ethnic minorities. Reports of organ harvesting being conducted on these people. Adds up since china has no wait time for transplants. Along with video of mass maltreatment of these people.

Then there's the clashes in Hong Kong.

That's just the top 3 problems right now. This has an international effect, whether you shrug it off or not.

drenvuk said 12 days ago:

Right. Judging from the responses I'm getting it seems like I'm the outlier. I'll take a break.

luckylion said 12 days ago:

Yeah, this and the other 20 articles should be auto-posted every hour, or stickied to the front page. /s

clairity said 12 days ago:

the compare and contrast of this with the nfl and colin kaepernick is interesting.

here, a general manager of a team (not a player) showed support for free speech (the protests) and democratic values over tyranny, and the league rallied (measured) support for him. many americans then criticized the nba for not going far enough, because greed.

with the nfl, a player protests minority persecution by the police (an expression of governmental power). the league bans the respectfully protesting player (because greed) and fans cheer the oppression in the name of patriotism.

the subtext is not so flattering for us americans.

vnchr said 12 days ago:

Interesting interpretation of events.

Most accounts of the NBA controversy that I've heard suggest the apology to China made by the Houston Rockets's James Harden[1] in response is what has drawn criticism. And the GM has been pressured into making an apology [2]. That was after the Houston Rockets immediately distanced themselves from the statement [3]. The criticism I've heard has been of the subservient apologies, because freedom. Our National Basketball Association has demonstrated a split loyalty.

Also, Kaepernick was not banned, although perhaps that's an interpretation of his not being rehired after his contract ended. Statistically, he was the worst or second worst QB in the NFL. Add to that the PR risk, and the return on investment is negative.

In China, if I posted that same critical comment to social media, I'd fear for my life and the lives of my family as a direct action from the government. In the USA, Colin Kaepernick has a lucrative Nike endorsement and, while a controversial figure, lives freely and is often celebrated freely.

I'll side with us Americans on this one.

[1] https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/27787634/james-harden-ap...

[2] https://www.npr.org/2019/10/07/767805936/houston-rockets-gm-...

[3] https://twitter.com/TilmanJFertitta/status/11803302879574958...

[4] "Kaepernick had a defense-adjusted yards above replacement — Football Outsiders’ ultimate value quotient — of minus-182, 35th in the NFL. By all metrics, he was one of the worst quarterbacks in the league." https://www.foxsports.com/nfl/story/colin-kaepernick-49ers-s...

clairity said 12 days ago:

i'm not following it closely enough to pinpoint where most of the criticism is being directed, but quite a bit seems to be directed at the nba and the rockets. the nba and the rockets are clearly trying to walk a tightrope between mollifying the CCP without capitulating to it (by outright punishing daryl morey).

kaepernick's ranking as a quarterback is debatable but a quorum of knowledgeable people (i.e., not me) seemed to view him as a somewhere in the middle of the pack of starting quarterbacks.

in any case, another interesting element of the comparison is that nba players/employees have more collective power than their nfl counterparts. individual players, who feel loyalty to a range of interests other than profit, are willing to take stands that an unempathetic corporate entity just won't.

taobility said 12 days ago:

Kaepernick is safe because he is a celebrity, did you read the news about some other nobody Americans?

vnchr said 12 days ago:

I’m a nobody American. I can demonstrate my freedom, if you’d like.

I, being of sound mind, declare that my President is shit. And he’s wrong about things. And his hair is ridiculous.

No consequences. That’s allowed. My real identity is adequately tied to this account, and I fear no repercussions for criticizing my government leaders.

taobility said 12 days ago:

In US, it's more scare to say you support Trump, and also it's declare to death that you say you don't like black people. And also, you are freely to say that in China, and you may get applause for that. Does that approve anything? Did you get my point?

vnchr said 11 days ago:

I do appreciate your point that there are social consequences for certain kinds of personal expression. If I publicly support an unpopular political or religious or social view, it could damage my professional reputation and limit my job prospects.

But those aren’t government enforced laws. People can choose their own rules for speech.

If I insult my employer, I may be fired. There are social consequences for taking controversial stances—that’s true of all societies. But those aren’t legal consequences in the USA. Our government can’t intervene except for specific cases where you are inciting violence or physical danger when it comes to personal expression.

When it comes to speech, should the government have the power or should the people have the power? I don’t want my government to have that power over me, and I certainly don’t want China to have that power over citizens of the USA.

taobility said 11 days ago:

1. we are talking about freedom of speech. Whether the damage from the peers or from the administration, for the normal people, I don't think there is big difference. 2. I am not fully understand what's your meaning of China's power over USA citizens. I don't think Chinese government has enforced any US citizen do anything they don't want to do. 3. Boycotting is really normal in modern days, and it's a polite way to express your disagreement. NBA can stand with their point, but Chinese and Chinese government can boycott as well. Just like what Kaepernick did and NFL audience did.

par4crsei said 12 days ago:

You’re talking about celebrities who are treated differently.

How’s that population of effectively “disappeared” minorities into prison for pot possession and migrants in cages make it look relative to China and its behavior of kidnapping people. There are oodles of folks held in America without charges every year.

Oh they got a trial here sure. One with a predetermined outcome codified into law years ago.

America has had the advantage of being able to sell the pretense via warm and cuddly commercials to the public over the last few decades. The rhetoric in China and America is the same. And “proper Chinese” believe a lot of the same about China vs. US

All countries fail the bottom 1/3rd. Some are just better at justifying it emotionally

vnchr said 12 days ago:

Sure. But that's not because of freedom of speech. And I think this is a discussion related to freedom of speech rather than the more subjective and infinitely broad, "Which is better: China or America?"

I can safely criticize my country and its officials because I am not a Chinese citizen.

par4crsei said 12 days ago:

Right, casually downvote literal behaviors of our government as if they’re being presented out of context. Cherry pick to support ones argument by omission.

For a forum of “disrupters” it likes to remain politically milquetoast.

I guess when you’re looking to simply disrupt how much money others have in their account, disrupting the political status quo that enables the gambling risks the game.

So what about the things I brought up. Got disruption to do.

Guess I’ll have to be the “politically unreasonable man” alone.

Nothing exposes weakness like being a single minded doofus. Like Adam Smith warned, extreme division of labor will make for a mighty brain dead and easily manipulated public. Stick to your lane.

par4crsei said 12 days ago:

Try protesting Trump in front of the White House. Odds are you won’t even risk seeing how free your speech is. That’s the difference in America: most wont bother cause for most it’s fine.

A lot of Chinese as a percentage of the population can say the same.

I think fewer Americans are inclined to try and test it, more so than it being true.

Look at the pipeline situation, campus protests, etc of the last five years. Police beatings and pepper spray in the face. That’s what happens when people stand and sit around in protest.

Put together a protest on the scale of Hong Kong’s in NYC or LA. See how it goes.

TL;DR it’s more explicit in China because they actually stand up more frequently than Americans.

And as a percentage of our population we have more people in jail for minor drug possession related offenses. That’s seen as a tacit protest of government law and you’re put in the clink. Predetermined outcomes written into law plainly, we’ve all just normalized to.

vnchr said 12 days ago:

Lots of people protest Trump at the White House. Like, a lot. It’s cool.

People call him out on Twitter constantly. No repercussions.

Lots of organized protests, most of them complaining about him. No consequences for the protesting.

Seriously, I can mail a letter telling my President that I think he’s shit, and there are no consequences. Freedom. Now, if I say something even vaguely threatening in that letter, the Secret Service will pay me a visit. And I’d feel uncomfortable. But that’s appropriate threat assessment. We don’t arrest our people for criticizing leaders. That’s a protected right.

I’ll make a bet: you and I will both send the same insulting, critical letters to our respective national leaders, and I bet that I will suffer no consequences provided that the content is of a non-threatening nature whereas you may not be so lucky.

In that respect, I have the opportunity to contribute to the public discourse that is necessary for my nation to progress. I can openly disagree with my leaders, and that is the very means for change in both who will lead and where we will go.

tdb7893 said 12 days ago:

Yeah, I was trying to figure out a polite way to point out the discrepancy. Notably I don't think the NFL actually banned him over it, I think he just ended up not being rehired by any teams. I think the NFL actually settled a lawsuit with him over conspiring to keep him out of the league but it apparently wasn't an official policy.

Edit: so I think it wasn't as hypocritical as it could be at face value but America isn't as great about athlete protest as we really want to be. It's much harder to stomach people protesting you

djohnston said 12 days ago:

The league didn't really support the GM, and plenty of people are still pissed about Kaepernick. More importantly, the NFL hasn't gone to the same degree of virtue signaling that the NBA has.

adventured said 12 days ago:

In fact there was massive support across the US for Kaepernick. Nike saw a big net public benefit to using his position in its advertising. The parent comment is ignoring the widespread support that Kaepernick received in the stance that he took, including from a very large number of active NFL players, celebrities, other sports players, and Americans in general.

Now contrast that actual reality in the US with what's going on with China where there is zero allowed room for dissent. The US comes out universally, overwhelmingly favorably.

Kaepernick made money on his settlement with the NFL and is practically becoming a folk hero in the sports world (see the Betsy Ross flag shoe matter). He'd be in prison or executed in China for an equivalent stance.

clairity said 12 days ago:

> "the NFL hasn't gone to the same degree of virtue signaling that the NBA has."

the nfl very clearly virtue-signaled loyalty over freedom, which coincided neatly with their financial interests.

efa said 12 days ago:

The league did not ban Kaepernick, he just wasn't signed by anyone (he wasn't a very highly rated quarterback anymore). Some say owners colluded to blacklist him. I find that very hard to believe. Owners don't seem to have a problem signing players with all types of sins in their history if it will help them win. Of course if he's going to bring trouble and he's not that great anymore, then the might pass on him.

mlyle said 12 days ago:

> (he wasn't a very highly rated quarterback anymore)

Though in the first 2 years Kaepernick went unsigned, about 10-15 quarterbacks weaker than him were signed. One has to assume the commercial/financial risk from fan and sponsor backlash was a significant factor.

ninth_ant said 12 days ago:

> One has to assume the commercial/financial risk from fan and sponsor backlash was a significant factor.

I would assume that distraction for the team — regardless of reason for that distraction — was a major contributing factor.

At a certain level their objective is to win games and focus on the player politics and non-sport activities would be disruptive, and likely negatively impact his overall value to prospective teams.

trophycase said 12 days ago:

He was blackballed. The league even settled in court with him over his grievances. Please don't muddy the waters.

efa said 12 days ago:

Yeah, they settled (the league wasn't found guilty). The lawyer for Kaepernick said "... the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party." So I'm not muddying the water, the water was never clear. There was never a clear public resolution. (Again, I'm not saying they didn't do it.)

clairity said 12 days ago:

right, i didn't mean literally banned, but he was effectively banned to make a political and economic point (also not suggesting that they necessarily did anything illegal).

said 12 days ago:
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wmeredith said 12 days ago:

Not all fans cheered the oppression.

taobility said 12 days ago:

you are too smart to be American :)

hos234 said 12 days ago:

All this is reminding me of the fall of the Iron Curtain for some reason. That too started in unexpected ways and was over quicker then anyone imagined.

"They have 200000 soviet soldiers watching...silos full of nuclear missiles and he wants to topple them with leaflets" - https://youtu.be/F_kVbLubBxM

ivankolev said 12 days ago:

This keeps getting escalated it seems, fans were ejected in Philly, for waving signs in support of HK: https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/10/philadelphia-76ers-sixers-f...

lancesells said 12 days ago:

Crazy how all this started from a service (Twitter) that is banned in China. Not only censoring apps that do business there but outrage over a comment on an app the Chinese people aren't even supposed to see.

taobility said 12 days ago:

There are millions of Chinese living at USA right now

hkmaxpro said 11 days ago:

Most aren't Chinese nationals any more.

They either grew up learning US values, or were natralized with the oath “I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic”. [0]

In any case, they enjoy the freedom to access different opinions in the US, and should respect those opinions.

[0] https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/naturalization-test/nat...

seph-reed said 12 days ago:

If anyone knows the full list of who to boycott, I've opened an issue on the Hong Kong support github:

https://github.com/hongkonggong/beyond-lennon-walls/issues/2...

sunshine2000 said 12 days ago:

In the USA, racism is biggest issue. In China, sovereignty is the biggest issue. Any companies who are doing business with China, they must have this in their minds.

said 12 days ago:
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tomohawk said 12 days ago:

NBA needs to decide whether they are an organ of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) or whether they have some self respect. They're in an important position to protect the sport, but if they go chasing after money from the CCP what will they be then?

And what do they think will happen to the protesters in Hong Kong? Probably the same thing that has happened to others.

https://chinatribunal.com/final-judgement-report/

Why identify with the CCP by doing what they say?

NTDF9 said 12 days ago:

I think this is all posturing. They are using Trump's own tactic against him.

Keep increasing stakes with more losses to be had before the next trade meeting

humble_engineer said 12 days ago:

The reason you haven't heard a single, solitary actor or actress speak up about Hong Kong is because China's money is pouring into Hollywood. They invest billions into making movies. This is also the same reason you've never seen Brad Pitt wearing a Free Tibet shirt in +10 years. He was only wearing that shirt because at the time, Bill Clinton had a spat with China. Actors and actresses are as fickle as the wind. But Kudos to these NBA players speaking out.

bipolar_lisper said 12 days ago:

So some millionaires can't play a game, and this is the most upvoted thing on HackerNews about what's going on between the USA and China? Really?

jasd said 12 days ago:

If that's what it takes to bring attention to all the issues, I'll take it!

donarb said 12 days ago:

Cultural ambassadors such as sports figures or artists can help to defuse political animus between countries.

bigpumpkin said 12 days ago:

Two funny things about this:

1. Both Americans and China are furious at the NBA, both are threatening to boycott it.

2. Tencent just signed a $1.5 Billion streaming deal with the NBA. If the Chinese ban the NBA, then the first casualty (besides the NBA) is their own company.

dirtyid said 12 days ago:

On 2, banning US media/sports which Chinese can stream for free might just be contextualized further trade retaliation. Though I think banning the NBA has actual potential for domestic backlash compared to HK.

ThinkBackTo said 12 days ago:

You underestimate how brainwashed Chinese people are