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KLAVAN: Economics Should Never Come Before Freedom
SHENZHEN, CHINA - OCTOBER 12: LeBorn James of Los Angeles Lakers reacts during Los Angeles Lakers v Brooklyn Nets at Shenzhen Universiade Center on October 12, 2019 in Shenzhen, China. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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On Tuesday’s episode of “The Andrew Klavan Show,” Klavan talks about the appalling pro-communist antics happening in the NBA. Video and partial transcript below: 

When I was a kid, we used to wonder: If you’d dug a hole deep enough, would you come out in China? Well, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is apparently going to try that experiment and find out. 

They started digging after Houston Rockets [General Manager] Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the demonstrators in Hong Kong the brave men and women fighting to keep their liberty as China slowly closes its iron grip on the formerly free British colony. The NBA apologized for Morey’s righteous tweet. They’ve apologized, disgustingly, in English and even more disgustingly in Chinese. They started ejecting fans who openly supported freedom in the face of communist tyranny. Morey had to apologize to the Chinese tyrants. Players apologized. Golden State [Warriors] coach Steve Kerr, who is Superman when it comes to attacking the American president, suddenly turned into a mealy-mouthed worm, drawing a comparison between the 65 million Chinese murdered by the communists and something, something, something about America.

It was appalling crap, and now LeBron James — King James — has turned himself into Chairman James with this stupid statement:

JAMES: We all talked about this freedom of speech. Yes, we ought to have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen. When you’re not thinking about others, you know, and you’re only thinking about yourself. So, I don’t believe I don’t want to get into a word or sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at-hand and he spoke. And so many people could have been harmed, not only financially but physically, emotionally, spiritually. So just be careful what we tweet, what we say, and what we do even though, yes, we do have freedom of speech there can be a lot of negatives that come with that, too. 

Yeah, James tried to explain that away but it just got worse — and the thing is, I don’t even want to pick on LeBron. His job is to put a ball through a hoop; He’s very good at putting balls through hoops he may be the best putter of balls through hoops since balls were hooped. But I do think the situation … has besmeared not just him and everyone in the sport, not to mention ever-so-woke ESPN, which suddenly went morally dark on the Chinese subject, and Disney, who owns ESPN and isn’t about to lose access to that big ol’ Chinese audience for its films. 

And by the way, let’s not forget the NFL, where all those oh-so-brave Kaepernicks disrespect the American flag. They apologized to China back in 2004 for accidentally airing a … long image of Tiananmen Square during the Super Bowl halftime show. Same exact thing. 

This situation brings a lot of things into focus and into question. It brings into question celebrity culture. Why does putting a ball through a hoop or reciting lines someone else wrote for you elevate LeBron James his opinion or Robert De Niro’s opinion to relevance? That is corrupting. That attitude is corrupting. It brings into question our reliance on capitalism and free trade for moral guidance. Without the brave and moral hearts of human beings, these systems will operate only on the basis of profit, and that’s corrupting. 

It brings into question the drive toward globalism. It sounds pretty to say we should all act as one world, but if we don’t act under truly moral rules as opposed to Chinese rules, then economic and military might will decide what’s right, and that’s about as corrupting as you can get. Freedom is the first moral good of politics, because without freedom, every other good is just oppression with a smiley face. If you can’t choose your own path, and speak your own mind, and spend your own money as you see fit, you’re nothing. You’re no one. No matter how much free stuff or law-and-order the state gives you in return for your soul, and no matter how much good the government tells you it is doing with your money.

I support capitalism because it’s the most free system. I support free trade because it supports capitalism. And it’s wonderful that capitalism, when it’s done honestly, raises everyone to a higher economic level. But if you put the economics before the freedom, you become corrupt and that’s what’s happened to the NBA and the NFL and Disney and a lot of other people who sold their values for the almighty yuan. No system can do the moral thing for you. Shareholders are not an excuse; cultural sensitivity is not an excuse. No one can demand that you be willing to die for freedom — not everyone’s a hero. But we can hold you in contempt when you won’t even speak up for freedom when there are people in the streets of Hong Kong risking everything.

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