Hall of Fame NBA player Charles Barkley is infamous for his loudmouthed no-nonsense perspective on things. The former MVP frequently has outrageous predictions but also has quite a lot to say about the political climate; whether it be anti-Democratic or Republican, it’s hard to grasp which way he votes.
On last Thursday’s “NBA Pregame” on TNT, Barkley chimed in on the NBA’s position over Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet regarding his support for protesters in Hong Kong and the issue in general.
And Charles Barkley defended Pro-Hong Kong allies, the NBA and its players’ position, and also said Vice President Mike Pence “needs to shut the hell up.”
“South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and filmmaker Quentin Tarantino are the first Americans to tell the People’s Republic of China to get lost with its censorship.
After “South Park” put China on blast about its absurd censorship policies, the country scrubbed all references to the show from its Internet (it’s important to note the Internet is exclusive to some countries).
And then the Chinese government told Sony Pictures they would not distribute “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” unless they made major edits to the film. Tarantino, being the savant ‘Final Cut’ filmmaker he is, said certainly not.
Every other American industry is bending over backwards to China. Hollywood has done so for over a decade. Even video game companies have done the same over the last few weeks. But the NBA is taking the brunt of it because of Morey’s tweet, which China quickly condemned.
Last Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence accused the NBA of siding with China on “silencing free speech” and that they were acting like a “wholly-owned subsidiary of China.”
Pence said this just in time for TNT’s “NBA Pregame” show, which had Barkley and the rest of the crew, and also NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
As he always does, Barkley had some opinions on the matter but they were all over the place.
Firstly, Barkley claimed Pence “needs to shut the hell up, number one” while giving his reasoning that “all American companies are doing business in China, period.”
But then he elaborated saying, “Listen, Daryl Morey, who I like, … he can say whatever he wants to, but there are consequences. But I don’t understand why these holier-than-thou politicians, if they [are] so worried about China, why don’t they stop all the transactions with China? President Trump has been talking about and been arguing with tariffs for China for the last two years, but I think it’s unfair for them to do all their business in China, and just because this thing happened to try to make the NBA and our players look bad. All American companies do business in China, period.”
Have you ever agreed and then simultaneously disagreed with something so much in your life? He nails a few points like alluding to Trump being more aggressive with tariffs, which would hypothetically make them cave on censorship.
In all seriousness, how do you think the 1.3 billion Chinese people are going to act if they’re deprived of NBA, video games and movies? Do you think they’ll just say, “Oh well, it was good while it lasted?” No.
However, Vice President Pence is right. The NBA should be more focused on American values than making money in communist regimes.
Commissioner Silver doesn’t see it that way. He said, “We’re going to double down on engaging with the people of China and India and throughout Africa, throughout the world regardless of their governments. Certainly [if] we get to a point where the U.S. government tells us we shouldn’t be doing business in certain territories or countries, we won’t.”
Maybe it is all up to Trump. If the U.S. government were even more aggressive with tariffs then it might do many American businesses that deal with China a bit of good. We have the biggest Gross Domestic Product in the world. We hold all the cards.
Mike Pence is right. Barkley is partly right. It’s time to think about our relationship with China through a different lens.