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Sportscaster Bob Costas Skewers 'Conspicuously Mum' Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James for Hypocrisy

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Some of the country’s highest-profile athletes who style themselves to be warriors for human rights turn into lapdogs when the subject turns to China, according to one of the top sports broadcasters in the business.

Bob Costas, an industry veteran with coverage of 11 Olympic Games under his belt, noted the selective outrage of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and NBA star LeBron James during an interview Tuesday with CNN.

“The NBA is up to its neck in China,” Costas told Michael Smerconish in a video clip of his interview that was posted to Twitter.

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“China is a huge sports market. Basketball is especially popular there. But they will put up with not even the slightest criticism. They reject it out of hand,” he said.

“And when they can, some of it might be just saber-rattling, like saying today that the U.S. will pay the price for its wrongdoings. But to the extent that they can, they exact a price,” he said, recalling one of the more infamous moments in NBA-China history, as well as more recent issues.

“Back a couple of years ago when Daryl Morey, then the GM of the Houston Rockets, tweeted ‘Stand with Hong Kong,’ Rockets games were suddenly off the air for an extended period in China,” Costas said, noting that the interview he was giving would never be seen in China.

“And the Rockets are one of the most popular teams there because Yao Ming was the first big Chinese star in the NBA. More recently, Enes Kanter, who grew up in Turkey, spoke out against China. Same thing: Celtics games are gone.”

Talk then turned to the flow of goods from China, including Nike products.

“By the way, a lot of Nike’s goods that benefit the likes of Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James? Made in China,” Costas said.

“And those outspoken individuals — and in many cases, I think millions of Americans would agree with their positions on domestic issues, but — they are conspicuously mum when it comes to China. And no matter what the issues are here, and they are serious issues, in terms of dimension, they pale alongside what’s going on in China,” he said.

Costas has previously said that athletes who pretend to care about the suffering underclass are careful never to cross a line that could impact the money they make.

Are rich athletes hypocrites for not speaking out against China?

“Some of those people are very outspoken … and sometimes offer sweeping condemnations of their own admittedly imperfect country,” Costas said in another CNN interview last week, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

“But when it comes to China, perhaps the world’s leading human rights abuser given its size and its wherewithal, they’re mum,” he said.

Costas has a long history of saying what he means about China.

In 1996, NBC scurried to make amends when Costas offered a mild rebuke to the communist nation.

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“Every economic power including the United States wants to tap into that huge potential market, but of course there are problems with human rights, property rights disputes, the threat posed to Taiwan,” he said then, according to The Associated Press.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
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Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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