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Originally Published: January 29, 2020, 10:17 AM
TownHall | By Peter Flaherty
Don’t mistake the lull with the issue going away. With the standoff in Hong Kong ongoing, the National Basketball Association still has a China problem.

The NBA should now endorse the demands of the Hong Kong protesters. After all, Hong Kongers ask only for what the league already has endorsed for this country. The NBA promotes voter rights; Hong Kongers demand universal suffrage. The NBA embraces Black Lives Matter; Hong Kongers want an independent inquiry into police brutality. League officials endorse criminal justice reform; Hong Kongers seek due process and amnesty for arrested protesters.

The fact that the NBA is unlikely to embrace the protests is no reason for the demand not to be made. Instead, it is a reason for it to be made time and time again. The virtue of some causes is so obvious that the chances of prevailing are beside the point.

There is no folly in asking the NBA to get on the right side of history. If it refuses, at least a marker has been set down. The NBA will someday have to acknowledge its mistake, one that it therefore will be less likely to repeat.

The NBA has ascended to what it portrays as the moral high ground on a variety of issues that have nothing to do with basketball. The implication is that it does “the right thing.” Once you proclaim your innate goodness to the world, however, you can’t climb halfway down the hill when it might cost you money.