Why isn't Morey on the hot seat? Why isn't anyone discussing his fatal flaw? Everyone knows how China operates and although I am not a part of the league, I must assume that there was some education given based on how to act while visiting China on business. Morey should have been culturally fluent of Chinese culture before visiting China. The first question the NBA should have been asked, was Daryl Morey educated on how to act while visiting China on a business trip? Let’s not forget, his tweet was during a business trip and not a vacation. As outspoken as the NBA players are, none of them addressed the Hong Kong protest. Why did Morey? Was this a coincidence, misunderstanding, or something more?
I want to emphasize that Morey’s actions should not be praised, and the NBA should not be criticized for how they are handling an employee’s actions outside of the United States. All countries do not practice democracy and all countries are not able to practice freedom of speech, yet our government and American businesses have still decided to do business with these countries. When doing business with countries with different values and cultures, each party respects the different cultures although they may not agree. Neither party should force their values on each other to maintain a strong and lasting business relationship. The NBA understands this.
Some will say that NBA is being hypocritical because of their stance on freedom of speech, but they are not. They have not fired Morey. Yes, they may have left him on an island in the beginning, but Morey tweeted, not the NBA. Those were his views, not the NBA’s and why should the NBA stand by Morey’s tweet when billions of dollars are at stake? The focus of the Chinese trip was to expand, not alienate themselves from China. If the NBA didn’t educate Morey on what to say publicly or how to act on social media, then shame on the NBA, and this problem is their fault. But, if the NBA did educate, if Morey was culturally aware that his tweet would jeopardize the NBA’s bottom line, why are we expecting the NBA to protect Morey, especially when the NFL wouldn’t protect Kaepernick in the United States?
Americans follow the laws and customs of foreign countries whether they agree with them or not when they visit, why is this any different? For example, women must follow a dress code when traveling to Islamic countries. They may have to cover their faces if the country requires it. Furthermore, we drive on the left side of the road when that is the law. We don’t force our beliefs and drive on the right side while driving outside the United States. Crazy analogy I know, but it doesn’t sound so crazy if we compare it to the American response of Morey and his actions. The point is, we stay in our lane, whatever that lane is, based on the laws and customs of the country we are in. Practice freedom of speech in the United States but censor your speech when on business trips to countries that don’t practice freedom of speech. It’s that simple. Sounds like a crazy and undemocratic point, maybe, but this is business 101 and Fortune 500 companies abide by this principle or some foreign business partnerships can’t be merged.
Businesses are allowed to choose who they do business with, that is the benefit of a capitalistic society, but those relationships can bring criticism or do they? Apple, Blizzard and Google have chosen to continue doing business with China and folded to Chinese policy. Where is the criticism for their actions? Politicians, however, are choosing who to criticize. They are critical of the NBA but aren’t writing or even speaking out about Apple’s, Blizzard’s or Google’s actions. Some of their actions blatantly supported Hong Kong’s protests, so when these businesses backed down to the Chinese government, it hurt Hong Kong’s democratic movement. However, the NBA was sent a letter instead of Apple, Blizzard, and Google. These three companies should’ve been the focus, not the NBA, since the Chinese government told them to remove certain items from Hong Kong’s access. So where is the political outcry if democracy and freedom of speech are so important? The NBA has not obliged to the Chinese requests to amend for the Morey’s tweet, but Google, Apple and Blizzard have obliged, and it negatively affected the citizens of Hong Kong who are protesting for their freedom.
The NBA’s criticism is a political stunt that is being eaten up by the media because of the NBA’s history of embracing the ideals of our country. These same ideals are being weaponized against the NBA outside of the United States and that is wrong. Morey was the only NBA employee to step out of his lane. His tweet was reckless. Individuals lose their jobs for costing businesses thousands of dollars; Morey’s tweet was playing with billions.
If Morey doesn’t tweet, the NBA wouldn't have a problem. Morey should face consequences just as Kaepernick has had to face for speaking out. Am I saying he should be fired? No, that’s not my place, but if he was told beforehand to watch what he says verbally and on social media, should his job be in question? Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences. Kaepernick will tell you that although coach Doc Rivers has been coined with saying it during this fiasco.
Educating people how to act in countries with different values and the possible fallout that could occur along with how the NBA has stuck with Morey after his business mistake should be the lead headlines instead of how the NBA should force democracy and freedom of speech down the throat of a communistic country.
Besides why should the NBA make the situation worse by confronting Chinese values especially when those same values are criticized when practiced here at home?
This situation reminds me of World War II when the United States went to fight for freedom in Europe and wouldn’t protect the minorities within its own borders. How can individuals and politicians be so upset and go to bat for someone who is in a foreign country and not feel the same way when individuals here in America practice the same rights, but I will leave that alone…
Please share your thought below and tell me what you think.