Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) blasted the National Basketball Association for kowtowing to China over free speech, and blasted all sports leagues for virtue signaling in America on LGBT causes while caving to China.
Cruz called in to speak to CNBC host Joe Kern when he made the comments.
Kern asked him to comment about the ostentatious posturing of the NBA as a “woke” league even as they stifled free speech in order to maintain their business relationship with China.
“Well and Joe, it’s a striking contrast, we’ve seen when different states in the United States have passed laws protecting religious liberty that athletic leagues have been perfectly willing to declare boycotts of those states and denounce them loudly based on LGBT issues well that’s easier to do because that doesn’t cost them any money,” Cruz explained.
“So it lets them virtue signal all day long, but there’s nothing at stake,” he added.
The NBA has faced public outcry over their efforts to shut down critics of Chinese aggression in Hong Kong, including the silencing of league employees who said they supported the liberty movement against the communist government.
“Here, when the Chinese communists in Hong Kong are oppressing dissidents, are suppressing free speech, are violating human rights, where the stakes matter intensely, and there’s a choice between standing for free speech and human rights or making another buck, sadly the NBA has demonstrated where its priorities lie, and I believe we can do better,” Cruz continued.
“Any time an American business does business with China, there are risks,” he concluded, “but if our companies are willing to be essentially an arm of Chinese censorship, that exports their repressive policies and regimes to the United States and globally.”
Kern pointed out that it was a bad strategy for China because it helps push critics of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy to his side.
Cruz also accused of China of “economic coercion” all over the globe, saying it was “profoundly dangerous.”
Here’s the video of Cruz’s comments:
Sen. Cruz on CNBC Discussing China, Trade, and the N.B.A.