- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Nike and H&M have come under fire in China for refusing to use cotton sourced from forced labor in the Xinjiang region of the country. But not the NBA.

The NBA and its players have embraced Chinese brands Li-Ning and Anta, which have garnered praise by the Chinese-state media for using cotton grown and processed by the Uyghurs and other forced laborers in Xinjiang’s internment camps.

Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors inked a shoe deal with Anta reported to be valued as much as $80 million, and Dwyane Wade, the three-time NBA champion, has a clothing line with Li-Ning “that is so successful he has recruited young players for the brand,” the New York Times reported last week. 

In January, the Trump administration banned all imports of Xinjiang cotton and products made from it, citing Chinese human-rights violations. The ban little affects Anta and Li-Ning, however, as the majority of their products are sold directly to China’s 1.4 billion domestic consumers.

The NBA has remained mum on the Chinese deals, with its players not responding to requests for comment from the New York Times about promoting products sourced from slave labor.



Yet, they have no problem popping off when it comes to civil unrest in America. The NBA has actually encouraged its coaches and players to speak out about America’s social justice issues.

In response to a Minneapolis police officer fatally shooting an unarmed Black man during a traffic stop, this week, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich lamented for about 5 1/2 minutes about America’s injustices.

“It just makes you sick to your stomach. How many times does it have to happen?” Mr. Popovich said before the Spurs’ game against the Orlando Magic on Monday. “How many young Black kids have to be killed for no freaking reason? How many so that we can empower the police units?”

Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers, agreed.

“We keep hearing this cancel culture stuff, but we’re cancelling Black lives. To me, that’s more important in my opinion,” Mr. Rivers said before Monday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks. “It just keeps happening. We keep making mistakes and killing Black people. I don’t want to get into race, but it’s there. I think we all have weaknesses. But I think we need to confront them and find out how we can make this place a better world and a better country. To me, improving our culture as a society is really important. Not cancelling it, but improving it. Other countries have done a terrific job.”

Not surprisingly, these too are the lines of the Chinese Communist Party, used against America. 

Last month, a Chinese delegation mocked U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, citing the Black Lives Matter movement specifically.

“Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States,” Yang Jiechi informed Biden administration in Alaska. 

He added: “So, let me say here that, in front of the Chinese side, the United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength.”

Of course there is no moral equivalent of perceived social justice issues here in the U.S. and the extermination and sterilization of minorities in the Xinjiang region of China. Yet, the CCP is trying to exploit our division in order to promote and justify theirs.

And the NBA is there, by the CCP’s side, doing their bidding. Stay mum, ignore and profit off of the human atrocities happening in communist China, while vocally criticizing the democratic U.S. 

The CCP couldn’t have designed it any better and the NBA is willingly complicit.

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