Vice President Pence Takes Aim at NBA with Scathing Remarks on Chinese Capitulation

A scary thing happened on the way to the NBA regular season, and every American, regardless of their interest in sports, should be paying attention.

Just as basketball season was set to start, China clamped down on the NBA’s First Amendment rights.  It’s that simple, and just that diabolical.  When the Far East’s wannabe superpower boycotted the league over a team manager’s Hong Kong tweet, it set into motion a chain of events that would forever change the way in which American media consumed in China would be filtered.

Soon even LeBron James was being trotted out in front of the cameras in order to try and repair the damage, with James’ comments essentially admitting that freedom of speech can be a problem sometimes.

Patriots everywhere were holding back their vomit.

Vice President Mike Pence was one of the patriotic Americans incensed by the situation, and he let fly some choice words on the subject this week.

…Pence on Thursday accused the National Basketball Association of acting “like a wholly owned subsidiary of the authoritarian regime” in China, in a speech that also chided Beijing for economic and human rights abuses.

The closely watched address was seen as a barometer of the US administration’s approach to China as President Donald Trump works to complete a partial trade deal within the next few weeks.

Over the summer, Trump ordered the speech delayed around the same time he told Chinese President Xi Jinping in a phone call he would remain quiet on Hong Kong protests as trade talks progressed.

The speech Pence delivered Thursday sought to balance conciliation on trade with a critique of China’s human rights crackdowns, including in Hong Kong. His accusation against the NBA, along with the sneaker manufacturer Nike, of ranking business interests over American values stood in contrast to Trump’s own willingness to prioritize trade talks over condemning Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong.

To make matters worse, LeBron James himself was seen disrespecting the American National Anthem this week at his team’s season opener.