October 8, 2019

QUESTION ASKED: Why Is the NBA in Xinjiang?

Operating in such a place seems antithetical to the public stance of a league that has recently gone out of its way to tout its progressive, social-justice bona fides. After the Trump travel ban targeting seven Muslim-majority nations, prominent NBA figures took the side of the critics. League commissioner Adam Silver took the unusual step of criticizing the ban, saying “it goes against the fundamental values and the fundamental ingredients of what makes for a great NBA.” Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy compared the ban to Hitler registering the Jews.

NBA stars like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony have condemned police violence and racism in the United States, while players and executives have protested the Trump administration’s separation of immigrant children from their parents. According to his LinkedIn page, the NBA executive George Land oversees the Xinjiang training center. On Twitter, Land’s most recent activity is a retweet of the MSNBC host Chris Hayes condemning the U.S. separation of thousands of mothers from their children. But what about Xinjiang? Thousands of Uighur children are reportedly languishing in orphanages, awaiting their parents’ release from the concentration camps. The NBA didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment for this story. Nor did Land. Nor did China’s foreign ministry. (In a response to the recent United Nations report, a senior Chinese official denied the reports of torture and persecution of Uighurs and said that the camps were for “criminals involved only in minor offenses,” to teach them vocational skills.)

Exit quote: “Over the past few years, Xinjiang has become ground zero for a repressive revolution into a total control state. Think less George Orwell and more Michel Foucault, the philosopher of power who described a system of total control as a ‘cruel, ingenious cage.’”

Orwellian doublethink meets postmodernism also neatly sums up working at Disney-ABC-ESPN these days: Internal Memo: ESPN Forbids Discussion Of Chinese Politics When Discussing Daryl Morey’s Tweet About Chinese Politics.

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.