A former NBA star’s kowtowing to communist Chinese pressure left him grasping at an excuse for retracted comments about Taiwan: “It’s just how we talk.”
More and more, globalist corporations have shown favor to placate the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by aligning with their controlled narrative rather than risk one of the world’s largest markets. The same goes for individuals with ties to those brands who routinely put dollars ahead of principles as former NBA player Dwight Howard recently proved.
The eight-time NBA All-Star reportedly ignited a firestorm on Chinese social media platform Weibo after a promotional spot featuring himself and Taiwanese Vice President William Lai Ching-te gave rise to the hashtag “Howard Taiwan Independence, viewed more than 400 million times according to CNN.
“I’m Dwight Howard and since I came to Taiwan I’ve gained a whole new appreciation of this country. This place makes me feel so much love and I experience so much hospitality with a friendly and great living environment with such a great diverse culture,” Howard could be heard saying in the commercial promoting the opportunity for visitors to spend the night in the Presidential Office Building.
The major faux pas for those desiring to remain in China’s favor was for Howard to suggest Taiwan was its own country. Speaking with Taiwanese reporters Friday, the basketballer endeavored to backtrack his comments
“Where I’m from, if I say I wanna go to the country, it doesn’t mean that place is a country,” he contended. “It’s just how we talk. If I offended anyone in China I apologize. It was not my intention to harm anyone with what I said in the commercial.”
After clearly taking the side of the CCP, Howard absurdly went on to claim that he was not looking to offend anyone, “I am not a politician. I don’t want to get involved in any politics. I have the utmost respect for Chinese people and utmost respect for Taiwanese people, so it was never my intent to disrespect nobody.”
This, of course, drew its own backlash.
If you don’t want to get involved in politics, you don’t apologize to the CCP. Sick stuff. Read more.
— Shay (@ShaylanaWalker) May 13, 2023
NBA answers to the CCP.
— some dumb ape (@soUNTOUCHABLE2) May 14, 2023
He apologizes to slave owners.
— I Laugh At Lefties (@upanddownboston) May 13, 2023
Spineless sell outs
— Cool Thinkin’ (@CoolThinkin) May 14, 2023
The former player’s bending of the knee was most reminiscent of actor John Cena’s similar retraction after he had referred to Taiwan as a country while promoting the ninth “Fast and Furious” movie, “F9: The Fast Saga,” in 2021.
“Hi China, I’m John Cena. I’m in the middle of ‘Fast and Furious 9’ promotions. I’m doing a lot of interviews. I made a mistake in one of my interviews. I made one mistake. I have to say something very, very, very important now. I love and respect China and Chinese people. I’m very, very sorry about my mistake. I apologize, I apologize, I’m very sorry. You must understand that I really love, really respect China and the Chinese people. My apologies. See you,” the actor groveled in Mandarin.
John Cena responds to widespread fallout over his China-groveling with cryptic tweet https://t.co/FeJc5Cd32b pic.twitter.com/mN9AWIpNfA
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 26, 2021
The displays were readily contrasted by former NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom who has routinely called out oppressive regimes around the world despite the ramifications that may have had on his career.
In February, Freedom even took a shot at basketball star LeBron James during an interview on “Fox & Friends” and said, “He calls himself more than an athlete. He calls himself a human rights activist or freedom fighter, so I was just very disappointed in him choosing money and business over his morals, values, and principles.”
“Obviously, he signed with a company like Nike that pretty much uses slave labor and sweatshops in China, and he talks about all the problems that are happening around the world, but when it comes to one specific topic, China, he stays silent,” Freedom continued. “And that is hypocrisy, so that’s why I want to expose it.”
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