Is the NBA’s cave-in to China really all about the money? When LeBron James speaks up about perceived injustices here in the United States but urges silence against a foreign dictatorship that is running concentration camps, is it a case of the NBA “bowing at the altar of the almighty Chinese yuan,” as Los Angeles Times sportswriter Bill Plaschke puts it?
Maybe. But I suspect there is also something deeper going on. As with the collapse of the Women’s March into tribal infighting, we’re seeing another example of the narrow, parochial form that so-called “social justice” has taken.
LeBron James came in for particular criticism because only a few months earlier he had tweeted out a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” And now here he was, not caring about injustice if it happens somewhere else and urging us to stay silent about things that matter.
Yet that quote from King actually highlights what’s going on—because it’s so obviously counter to the spirit of today’s “woke” politics.