News and Commentary

‘The NBA Is Up To Its Neck In China’: Legendary Announcer Bob Costas Goes After IOC, NBA
NEW YORK - JULY 21: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guest Bob Costas during Wednesdays July 21, 2021 show. (Photo by Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images)
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images

On Monday, the Biden administration announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, which are set to begin February 4. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki cited the PRC’s “crimes against humanity” and “ongoing genocide” as to why the U.S. will not be sending any offical representation to Beijing. 

“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games, given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity,” Psaki told media.

Hall of Fame announcer Bob Costas — who was the prime-time host for 11 Olympics — joined Michael Smerconish on CNN Tuesday evening to discuss the diplomatic boycott, taking aim at the IOC as well as the NBA.

“What is it with the IOC and their affinity for authoritarian nations? There will be an Olympics — a Summer Olympics — in 2028 in Los Angeles,” Costas said. “It will have been since 2002 when the Winter Games were in Salt Lake, since there has been an Olympics on American soil. And yet, American television is the single greatest source of revenue for the IOC.” 

“Many IOC delegates remain ticked off at the U.S. because a free press blew the cover off the Salt Lake bidding scandal … They have long memories about this stuff,” Costas continued. “And, the IOC and many of those delegates act in a high-handed way. And in that sense, you can see where the affinity for authoritarian nations comes in.”

Smerconish then brought up the NBA, a league that has deep business ties with China. 

In recent months, Boston Celtics games have been unavailable in China after Enes Kanter Freedom — who plays center for the Celtics — went after the Chinese government for their human rights abuses. 

“The NBA is up to its neck in China,” Costas said. “China is a huge sports market. Basketball is especially popular there. But they will put up with not even the slightest criticism. They reject it out of hand. And when they can … they exact a price. “

“Back a couple of years ago when Daryl Morey — then the GM of the Houston Rockets — tweeted ‘Stand with Hong Kong,’ Rockets games were suddenly off the air for an extended period in China. And the Rockets are one of the most popular teams there because Yao Ming was the first big Chinese star in the NBA. More recently, Enes Kanter, who grew up in Turkey … he spoke out against China. Same thing. Celtics games, like that, gone. I guarantee you that the feed of this conversation is gone in China right now.”

Costas went on to discuss the United States’ dependence on China for its goods, mentioning two athletes who benefit from Chinese-made products. 

“By the way, a lot of Nike’s goods that benefit the likes of Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James … made in China,” Costas said. “And those outspoken individuals, and in many cases I think millions of Americans would agree with their positions on domestic issues, but they are conspicuously mum when it comes to China. And no matter what the issues are here, and they are serious issues, in terms of dimension, they pale alongside what’s going on there.”

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].

The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘The NBA Is Up To Its Neck In China’: Legendary Announcer Bob Costas Goes After IOC, NBA