In contrast to the rest of the league, Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert has spoken out about the atrocities in China against Uyghur Muslims.
“Wrong is wrong,” Gobert wrote on Instagram while sharing a post from actor and producer Omar Sy, which explained the situation for Uyghurs in China.
“Millions of Uyghur Muslims are detained and tortured in concentration camps in China,” Sy wrote. “Not for what they do, but for who they are.”
“It is the largest mass incarceration of the 21st century. It has to end,” he added.
Gobert appears to be the first NBA player to criticize China. As The Daily Wire previously reported, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted in support of Hong Kong as it battled for independence from China last fall. Morey’s tweet was swiftly condemned by the NBA, which had sent teams to play in China and receives millions from the communist nation.
NBA star LeBron James — who constantly claims America is a racist country — said nothing about the treatment of Uyghurs in China, instead focusing on how the association had a “difficult week” when it refused to stand up for Hong Kong.
“I’m not here to judge how the league handled the situation. I just think that, when you’re misinformed or you’re not educated about something – and I’m just talking about the tweet itself – you never know the ramifications that can happen. We all see what that did, not only did for our league but for all of us in America, for people in China as well. Sometimes you have to think through the things that you say that may cause harm not only for yourself but for the majority of people. I think that’s just a prime example of that,” James said at the time.
“My team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it,” he added.
The NBA began banning spectators from showing support for Hong Kong, and any mention of China was absent from the associations approved list of “social justice” phrases the players could wear on their jerseys.
This is not the first time this year that Gobert has made the news. Earlier this year he tested positive for coronavirus after downplaying the threat of the disease by touching the microphones in the press room. He then announced he would donate $500,000 among arena employees adversely affected by the pandemic and the NBA’s decision to suspend the season, as well as coronavirus efforts in Oklahoma City, Utah, and France, where he was born.
“I know that there are countless ways that people have been impacted. These donations are a small token that reflect my appreciation and support for all those impacted and are the first of many steps I will take,” Gobert said at the time.