The Hypocrisy Of Adam Silver

Funny, isn’t it, how principles go right out the window if enough money is involved?

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey recently tweeted his support of Hong Kong as it struggles to remain free of Chinese oppression. The Chinese got their knickers in a knot – too bad in my humble opinion – and started canceling NBA G-League games and stopped televising NBA games in China.

This prompted NBA Court Jester Commissioner Adam Silver to apologize to the Chinese for the grievous insult Morey’s tweet inflicted on their delicate senses. He did so in a way that basically threw Morey right under the bus. Only when many people outside of China took umbrage did Silver attempt to backtrack by saying that he and the league are “apologetic” over the outcome and reaction that followed Morey’s tweet then lamely added that “we are not apologizing for Daryl exercising his freedom of expression.”

Adam is trying to have his rugelach and eat it too. I believe they call it “chutzpah” back in Winchester County, New York but I will defer to my friend James Pyles to confirm that.

Look, Silver has invested a lot of time and effort into expanding the NBA into China. Although, why one would willingly do business with a regime that murders its citizens for kicks and steals the intellectual property of many businesses – and creators like myself – is beyond me.

But Adam’s initial response, attacking Morey for standing up for those seeking the freedom and liberty every human being deserves, while apologizing to China because hundreds of millions of dollars are involved reveals a curious hypocrisy on Silver’s part.

He later states that he supports Morey excersing his freedom of expression and thus no league punishment will be handed down to Morey. That’s good. But where was that support from the freedom of expression for one Donald Sterling a few years back?

Yes, what Sterling was recorded saying to his mistress was racist and horrible. But here’s the thing about freedom of expression in this country: It means expression that we find horrible and disagree with is just as protected as that we do agree with.

You may hate what the man said, but he has the right to say it. Yet, he was stripped of his ownership of a multi-million dollar business by Adam Silver and the NBA.

Where is this heavy-handedness from Adam with regards to the Chinese. They have engaged in far worse conduct than Sterling ever did. Has Silver decided to remove China from any involvement with the NBA?

No. In fact, he has gone groveling to them. Apologizing to them because someone dared speak the truth to China. And all because enough money is involved to make Adam throw any semblance of integrity right out the window while he counts all those beautiful Renminbi’s with Mao’s face on them.

It reminds me of my final month of employment at the Modesto Bee. I had already handed in my notice to take a job at another newspaper when someone in HR discovered to their great horror that I had not yet taken my company-mandated “Diversity Training”, a one-week excursion into the land of Inclusionary Hell. It made no sense for me to take it since I was about three weeks from leaving the company, but I was given no choice. (In retrospect, I should have called in sick.)

Day one, we are told that it is wrong to sort out our fellow co-workers based on race, gender, etc. etc. Immediately after making this statement, we are asked to introduce ourselves and what our ethnicity is. I’m sorry, but didn’t you just say we weren’t supposed to make that an issue?

So, when my turn came I introduced myself and stated my ethnicity as “Human”. I think at that point the two indoctrinators instructors were wishing they had called in sick that week.

Day two, we are role-playing. (As an aside, I HATE ROLE-PLAYING) I am the manager of the advertising department when one of our top clients calls and says that Sally, who is black, is his account manager and he wishes to have someone who is not black handling his account from now on. As the head of the department, I am asked, what is your response?

My response was to tell the client that Sally was handling his account and would continue to do so and never again call me with this racist bullshit. Now, I note that my fellow employees clapped and nodded their heads in agreement with my decision.

Our indoctrinators instructors informed us that I was wrong. That, in order to keep the client happy, I should replace Sally with Jimmy, who is so white he makes Barry Manilow look like a brother. The next 10 minutes were… well, let’s just say they were interesting.

Let me sum up my parting statement as I left for the day and filed a complaint with HR and was then excused from attending for the rest of the week (which was good because it let me get back to doing the job I was being paid for):

“You have spent these two days telling us,” I began and likely was shouting at this point, “that excluding anyone based on race, gender and whatever else is wrong and unacceptable and grounds for termination for us employees. Then you have the nerve (I should have said chutzpah) to tell me that it is perfectly fine for this company to do exactly that to one of us to keep a racist POS client happy and keep those bucks flowing into the bank account? So the official McClatchy policy is racism is bad until it impacts accounts receivable and then its all fine and dandy?”

There were a few other choice words added in (I’m Italian, when we get started…) but the point was the hypocrisy was on full display. The sad fact was they knew it… and they didn’t care.

I suspect Adam and the NBA knows it too. But as long as the money keeps flowing in, they won’t care that they are hypocrites. Whoever has the bigger wallet is who they’ll cater do and to hell with the Sallys, Sterlings and Moreys of this world.

I haven’t watched an NBA game in years and I even quit following my Lakers about three years ago. Between Silver and his predecessor, David Stern, the NBA is no longer basketball. The NBA’s glory years will turn out to be the 1980s when the Lakers, Celtics, Sixers and Rockets played the game as well as it will ever be played.

Today’s NBA is street ball. Those refs not on the take have no clue what traveling or double dribble are. Nor do they call the game the same for all ten players on the court instead of having one set of different rules for the superstars. Players collude to violate the spirit of the salary cap with no sense of loyalty to the team that drafted them or the fans that cheered them on.

And now, we have a commissioner who worships at the altar of Big Money, paid for with the blood of innocent men and women who only desired one thing: Freedom.