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ESPN Forbids Coverage Critical of China in NBA GM’s Pro-Hong Kong Tweet Aftermath

Another corporate giant is willing to do the bidding of the communist threat.

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An internal ESPN memo mandated neutrality when dealing with the China-Hong Kong conflict after National Basketball Association general manager Daryl Morey made a pro-Hong Kong tweet last week that angered the Chinese government, according to a Deadspin report.

Morey, who is the general manager of the Houston Rockets team, wrote a tweet that was published on Oct. 4, saying, “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” Although he deleted the comment shortly after he posted it, the backlash from China was immediate and severe.

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a weak statement after the controversy grew, in an obvious attempt not to alienate the Chinese market that they see as a growing revenue stream.

“Over the last three decades, the NBA has developed a great affinity for the people of China. We have seen how basketball can be an important form of people-to-people exchange that deepens ties between the United States and China,” Silver said in his statement.

“At the same time, we recognize that our two countries have different political systems and beliefs. And like many global brands, we bring our business to places with different political systems around the world,” he added.

ESPN, the Disney-owned television network that has helped turn the NBA into a worldwide phenomenon, is taking a similarly pro-China stance regarding the conflict, and it is represented in their programming.

“Daryl Morey, a good man, an exceptional executive, and a conscientious human being, what were you thinking speaking up on this issue?” commentator Stephen A. Smith asked on his ESPN radio show. “It’s about a multitude of people that extends far beyond yourself that you have compromised because you had this insatiable appetite to disseminate a tweet. You don’t know better than that?”

“Daryl Morey had an obligation to think about the Houston Rockets organization and about the National Basketball Association before himself,” Smith added.

“People on both sides of this issue, whether you are in mainland China, Hong Kong, or around the world feel strongly about their positions. And I think it’s important for all of us to read about it and understand what is going on,” sportswriter Ramona Shelburne said during ESPN’s Around the Horn.

However, one man apparently didn’t get the memo. Sports reporter Kevin Blackistone, who had previously been a world news reporter in the 1980s and early 1990s, actually had the courage to address the issue of Chinese-backed tyranny in Hong Kong.

“I don’t think it was a mistake for Daryl Morey to express his sympathy for a movement against authoritarianism being implemented into Hong Kong. A struggle that has been going on now for four months, that reportedly has injured 1,100 people, reportedly now has live gunfire in the streets, which has injured a couple of people, which reportedly has left a journalist covering all this blind. This is a very serious situation,” he added.

ESPN’s example shows how corporate America is firmly behind globalism, and will mute criticism of the Chinese despotism if they feel it enriches their bottom line.

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“Atlanta HAMMERS”? Why Some Braves Fans Want This to Become Their New Team Name

It has to do with their current name and the recent passing of a legendary player.

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An online petition is calling on the MLB’s Atlanta Braves to rename themselves the “Atlanta Hammers.”

The petition was started by a man named Charles Shepard and is addressed to franchise owner Liberty Media Corporation and chairman Terry McGuirk. Renaming the Braves “the Hammers” serves two purposes according to Shepard: 1) honoring Hank Aaron, the baseball legend who spent the vast majority of his career with the Braves and passed away on Friday, and 2) removing “the stain on the city [for] having a team name that dishonors Native and Indigenous people.”

There is no better time to take this action given the trend started by The Washington Football Team, the soon-to-be renamed Cleveland Indians, and with the Major League Baseball All-Star Game coming to Atlanta later this year. Please change the name to honor a person and player that Atlantans and Americans can be proud of,” the petition concludes.

Shepard’s petition only has 871 signatures as of Monday afternoon, a far cry from his hope of getting hundreds of thousands. “Truist Park, the team’s home stadium, has 41,129 seats. Let’s fill ’em with signatures several times over!” he declared.

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Hank Aaron is widely renowned among the baseball community. Born in 1930s Alabama, he briefly played in the Negro American League before beginning his major league career with the Atlanta Braves. He is considered one of the all-time great hitters, and his record of 755 home runs stood for 33 years before being broken by Barry Bonds. But because of Bonds’ alleged steroid use, some still consider Aaron to be the true home run king.

The “Hammers,” needless to say, is a terrible name for a sports team. Plus the Braves have previously been resolute in refusing to change their name. Like the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, the Braves say it honors, not disparages, Native Americans.

Anything can happen, however. The erstwhile Washington Redskins—now the Washington Football Team—previously said multiple times they wouldn’t change their name either. The Braves have also attempted to minimize symbols of its nickname in the past; one such attempt involved removing a “Chop On” sign near the entrance to their ballpark last July.

But even if they do decide to bow to the mob and change their name, I wouldn’t put money on it being the “Hammers.”

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