The NBA’s Vanderbilt Moment

The public be damned! I am working for my stockholders!

attributed to William Henry Vanderbilt

There has been a copious silence from the NBA concerning slave labor camps in China, concerning a judge’s ruling that claiming homosexuality is a mental illness is a valid opinion and an ad by a Chinese laundry detergent company where a black man is given a tablet of the cleaner put in a washer and comes out “clean” (that is Chinese).

Now you can make the case that the ad is a joke and NBA players can take a joke and you can make the case that people have the right to an opinion particularly one that was the case the official opinion of the American mental health experts until the early 70’s and defend both of free speech grounds although the NBA would never do so if these took place in America, but rationalizing slave labor while at the same time your political allies are pushing reparations for slavery, that’s pure unadulterated capitalism.

China has recently announced that is will again broadcast NBA games and with few or no fans allowed in the arenas and US rating way down despite lockdowns where people would presumably be at home the NBA players who like the ability to make six to eight figures for playing a game rather than $7.50 to $15 an hour for manual labor jobs where being able to reach the top shelf is useful where most of said players would be without the game are not inclined to be all that particular about slavery in China if it hurts their bottom line.

In other words it’s capitalism totally divorced from morality. If the goal is to maximize profits for the league as long as laws are not broken (and none of those actions are in violation of Chinese law, they are at worst down with it or at best silent.

If that’s how they want to justify it, that’s fine, it’s on them, but I don’t want to hear a single word about “social justice” or how the NBA cares about right and wrong because the reality is these guys to a man care about their bottom line and making what they can while they can that’s it. That’s their prerogative but spare me the false moral high ground narrative.

Oh and a small note to Coke and all those folks campaigning against “whiteness” it’s worth noting that this position makes them morally inferior to the almost completely white textile workers of England during the Civil War who despite hardship due to cutoff of their cotton supply vital for their employment by the Union Blockade of Confederate ports stood united against slavery and either recognition or intervention in the Civil War.

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