Shaq Takes NBA to Task Over Lackluster Response to Hong Kong Kerfuffle

A funny thing has happened to our First Amendment as of late, and we only have Beijing to blame.

It all began with South Park, of all things, the crass animated comedy that has long skewered our American experience.  In a recent episode entitled “Band in China”, the show shed light on the Communist regime’s economic fascism – particularly as it pertained to American entertainment.  After mocking Disney for their capitulation to the authoritarian Far East nation, South Park was subsequently banned in China.

Then, after the general manager of the NBAs’ Houston Rockets tweeted his support for the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, China announced a partial boycott of the league itself.  This led many within the NBA’s upper echelon to demand that players, coaches, and staff suspend their First Amendment rights for the sake of the keeping the cash flowing in from China.

Heck, they even had LeBron James make a statement capitulating to the Communist dictatorship in an attempt to bring the business back.

Former basketball start Shaquille O’Neal is having none of it, however.

NBA Hall of Famer and TNT commentator Shaquille O’Neal defended free speech during the opening night telecast of The NBA on TNT, and said that Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey was correct to back pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong.

“As American people, we do a lot of business in China,” O’Neal said. “And they know and understand our values and we understand their values. And one of our best values in America is free speech.

“We’re allowed to say what we want to say and we’re allowed to speak up on injustices, and that’s just how it goes.

Shaq then went even further.

“Daryl Morey was right,” Shaq explained. “Whenever you see something going on wrong anywhere in the world, you should have the right to say ‘That’s not right,’ and that’s what he did.”

O’Neal’s comments make him one of very few prominent NBA personalities to take a stand for the Constitution of the United States over the tyrannical malfeasance of the Chinese regime.