NBA

Fox Dribble


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The National Basketball Association has been the most progressive of major league sports in this nation for the past decade. They’ve led the way on race relations and civil rights while white idiots in the NFL and MLB are still making racist comments and exhibiting mind-dazzling ignorance. Drew Brees is about as woke as country singer Jason Aldean, who either sings “Farmer’s Daughter” or “Big Green Tractor.” I would ask Alexa, but I’m afraid she might start playing one of those songs.

Also, Colin Kaepernick still can’t get an invite to try out for a team. That’s some racist shit, NFL.

But when it comes to the coronavirus, NBA players are sounding a lot like that racist blonde bimbo on Fox News who told them to “shut up and dribble.”

A lot of NBA players are saying no to vaccines and the players’ union is telling the league that mandatory vaccinations are a “non-starter.”

When the pandemic began, it shut down the season. When the season resumed, it wasn’t for every team and for the teams that were playing, they were in a bubble at Disneyland. And now, prominent players are refusing to get the vaccine. Do they want to go back to the bubble? Do they want to stop playing in front of fans?

There are only two NBA cities with vaccine mandates for entertainment, like going to clubs, bars, movies, and sporting events. These mandates also affects players, even if they’re stubborn millionaire assholes. But since these mandates are only in two NBA cities, they only affect three teams, the Golden State Warriors, the New York Knicks, and the Brooklyn Nets. In case you’re a Republican, Brooklyn is a part of New York City.

The Knicks say they’re 100 percent vaccinated. Everyone on the team has got the jab. The Nets, not so much. Kyrie Irving, a star for the Nets, isn’t just a skeptic, it looks like he’s an anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorist. He’s liking accounts on Instagram that are pushing the debunked-microchip conspiracy theory. If the league proposal goes through that unvaxxed players can’t play in vaccine-mandated cities, players like Kyrie will be skipping home games and salads.

Andrew Wiggin, a player for Golden State, is also refusing to be vaccinated citing a religious exemption. Apparently, whatever religion he belongs to requires its practitioners to be selfish entitled assholes.

There are about 50-60 unvaccinated players which is a good percentage for the league, because there are currently 637 active players in the NBA. But one unvaccinated player is too many.

Kyrie and others have made the argument for their “personal freedom.” Where have we heard that bullshit before? We have to make the same points to a few NBA players that we’re making to dumbass Republican governors? Your contaminated self is violating my freedom not to get COVID.

The players’ union hopes to reach an agreement on this with the league. Here’s an agreement: Stop being a bunch of whiny-ass baby conspiracy theorist and get the fucking vax. If DoorDash, Lyft, and McDonald’s can force all their employees to get the vaccine, the NBA can too.

I understand black Americans’ skepticism of vaccines, and black players make up 74% of the NBA. They have a better argument for vaccine skepticism than white yee-haw fuckers. In the past, this nation has practiced medical experimentation on its black population. The government has not always been friends to Black America. But when you’re talking about microchips in the vaccine, your position is no longer rational. Also, I wouldn’t worry about the government tracking you through microchips in vaccines when you’re on Instagram.

Now, Lebron James, who’s been a huge voice for civil rights and an advocate for education. He’s been a champion for confronting racism and sexism. He’s been the poster dude for all things good and responsible. Yet, he resisted getting the vaccine. Now, he says after doing the research, he’s gotten the vaccine but he won’t advise others to do the same. Lebron James now has the official position of Donald Trump. Take the jab in secret but don’t tell anyone else to do it.

If Lebron spoke out and encouraged everyone to get it, and even said there should be a mandate, there would be a mandate. He’s that powerful. And if he’s done the research on getting the jab, then he knows there should be vaccine mandates because that’s in the same research. Players like Lebron and Steph Curry have been brave in confronting Donald Trump over his racism, but they’re being cowards by not confronting their own teammates.

I think every city in this nation, especially cities with major league teams, should adopt the same vaccine mandates as New York City and San Francisco. That will force all these players to get the vaccine. How many of them do you believe would be willing to give up their season?

A couple of players did give up their season in professional sports last year, but not because of vaccine mandates…but because they didn’t want to catch COVID. We didn’t have the vaccine last year but we do now. A study has been released stating NFL teams that have the highest vaccination rates among their players have a playing advantage against teams with lower vaccination rates.

By the way, how much freaky shit do athletes already put inside their bodies? How much strange do players get on the road, which the league is well-noted for? And these players are afraid there’s a risk to the vaccines?

Two weeks ago, seven coaches for the New Orleans Saints had to miss a game after they all tested positive for the coronavirus. Five of the coaches were vaccinated but two weren’t…which means they most likely got it from unvaccinated players and coaches. A player also tested positive along with a nutritionist.

Without these coaches, the Saints lost to the Carolina Panthers 26-7. The week before that game, the Saints beat the Green Bay Packers 38-3 and last week, they beat the New England Patriots 28-13. The Saints don’t suck. The Panthers didn’t beat them. The Saints beat themselves by not mandating everyone to be vaccinated.

At this point, not getting vaccinated is stupid, even if your name is Lebron. If these players want to be professional, want a competitive advantage, and want to do the best for their teammates, community, and families, they will all get the vaccine.

You don’t need to shut up and dribble, but you should be mandated to be vaccinated before you can bounce a ball.

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Virtual Haters


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I’ve heard some viewers of the Democratic National Convention say they preferred it without a live crowd. Not me. Speakers need momentum. Playing to a crowd helps with that more than talking to a camera. When it comes to sports, fans don’t just make it more interesting, they’re part of the game.

Fans often distract and taunt players from opposing teams. Football stadiums are designed to maximize the crowd noise. Fans of the Seattle Seahawks calls themselves the “12th Man.” In case you’re not a football fan, there are 11 players on the field for each team at a time. In case you’re a Donald Trump supporter, 12 comes after 11.

Without fans in attendance, sports can be boring. It’s tough to watch baseball with cutouts of fans behind home plate. The NHL has been praised for the way it has handled games during the pandemic. Wrestling has to be even more ridiculous without an audience to play to, but maybe now they can look into CGI. But the NBA seems to have handled it the best.

The NBA has inserted monitors displaying fans in real time watching the games. They may not actually be there, but you can see and hear them. Each team has different criteria for how fans are selected to be on the monitors. Let’s see if drawing a cartoon of the virtual fans is one of them.

The NBA is the most progressive league in major league sports. Nearly 75% of players are black. The players may be the most interactive and in touch with their communities. The majority of the NBA stands with Black Lives Matter.

Donald Trump was upset at NBA players for kneeling and said, “They’ve had horrible ratings, low numbers. People are angry about it. They have enough politics with guys like me. There was a nastiness about the NBA the way (protesting) was done. The NBA is in trouble, bigger trouble than they understand.” As it turns out, his numbers are very low. His speech accepting the Republican nomination was lower than Joe Biden’s Democratic acceptance speech. Maybe Donald Trump is in bigger trouble than he understands.

Trump said, “There are some very, very, very nasty, frankly very dumb players.” He has feuded with LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant. Once upon a time, a president was too busy to angry tweet athletes.

The Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic postponed a playoff game in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. Jared Kushner, a trust-fund baby who has his position and security clearance in the White House only because his father-in-law is the president (sic), said, “NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they’re able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially.” Jared, you’re fortunate to not be in prison.

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, “Jared, your father in law spreads hatred and division daily. Spare us your confused lecture and try to teach the president to not be racist.”

Jared also said he’d like to talk to Lebron James and, “I’d like to see them start moving into concrete solutions that are productive.” I guess Jared isn’t familiar with James’ I Promise School in Akron or his More Than A Vote foundation, which he formed with fellow athletes to work on fighting voter suppression. Jared works in a White House that creates voter suppression.

We’re not going to get solutions to racism from racists. Jared, you don’t need to talk. You need to shut up and listen.

Hey, maybe you can shut up and dribble.

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Chinese Dribbling


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CCTV Sports, a division of China’s state broadcaster, said in a statement, “We believe any remarks that challenge national sovereignty and social stability do not belong to the category of free speech.”

Let that be a reminder that any nation that has prohibitions on speech doesn’t know the definition of free speech (it’s kinda like when Donald Trump lectures about…anything). For the speech to be free, all subjects fit the category, even those that scare you.

China loves basketball and the nation accounts for ten percent, and growing, of the National Basketball Association’s revenue. That revenue is now threatened after a tweet by one of the league’s general managers. Houston Rockets’ GM, Daryl Morey, sent out a tweet in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. He tweeted, “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” Authoritarian China was not pleased.

Chinese organizations and firms have suspended their relationship with the NBA, at least for the time being. Authorities made it clear that business as usual with the league will cease until the NBA totally repudiates Morey’s statement. They haven’t done that.

The tweet was deleted and the NBA issued a statement that was criticized for being too beholden to communist China. Since then, Commissioner Adam Silver defended Morey’s right to free speech saying the league would not pursue profits over principles. Silver said, “The NBA will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees, and team owners say or will not say.”

Where the NFL is afraid of Donald Trump and conservative America, the NBA is not and has set itself apart for standing up for social justice and against bullies like Trump. After Trump attacked NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem, the league changed policies to avoid the controversy, even going so far to hide the players in the locker room while the anthem is played.

After Trump attacked players who said they wouldn’t visit the White House by telling them they’re not welcome at the White House (in case you’ve forgotten, Donald Trump is a toddler), the players were supported by the commissioner and several team owners. Lebron James called Trump a “bum,” and was joined by other prominent players. While Trump continued to berate the NFL, calling for protesting players to be fired, like a bully, he slunk away from the NBA. In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick can’t even get a try out let alone a job.

NBA players have led on-court protests while wearing T-shirts in support of Black Lives Matter. When Arizona enacted a Gestapo-like law making it legal for cops to stop people for merely being brown, the Phoenix Suns wore “Los Suns” jerseys to support their Latino community and fan base. When racist comments from L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling emerged, the league banned him for life. The league has set a standard for itself. While kowtowing to China may save some revenue, not standing up for its players and employees would hurt it with its American fan base.

China has responded by canceling broadcasts of the two exhibition games between the L.A. Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets that are to be held tomorrow in Shanghai and Saturday in Shenzhen. Now, the actual games may be canceled also. The NBA’s exclusive partner in China, Tencent Sports, said it would suspend live streaming for Houston Rockets games, and stop reporting news about the team. That’s pretty big because the Rockets are the NBA’s most popular team in China, thanks to Yao Ming. Nearly 500 million people in China watched NBA programming on Tencent platforms last season.

Hopefully, the NBA continues to stand up to China. Bullies shouldn’t be tolerated and allowed to win when they threaten financial pressure. Some people in this country should learn that.

While Morey was tweeting “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,” our president (sic) sent a congratulatory tweet to China on 70 years of communist rule. He also congratulated Vladimir Putin on winning a sham election after being coached by his staff, “do not congratulate.” It’s been reported that Donald Trump promised President Xi Jinping that he’d stay silent on Hong Kong protests while our two countries negotiated an end to the trade war he started. Trump says that’s not true, but he also said only dumb people would believe he talked to Ukraine about investigating the Bidens before a summary of the transcript came out proving he talked to Ukraine about investigating the Bidens…and then admitted it. Of course, while denying he promised not to criticize China over Hong Kong, he still hasn’t criticized China over Hong Kong. In fact, the guy who broadcasts his opinions from the mayor of London to Emmy ratings hasn’t shared one comment on the NBA/China rift.

Hysterically, the Trump Campaign is currently airing commercials about how it takes a “tough guy” to change Washington. This is the same “tough guy” who was too cowardly to bring up Otto Warmbier to Kim Jong Un’s face or to take our intelligence agencies’ side over Putin’s while standing next to the Russian dictator.

Silver said, “I do know there are consequences from freedom of speech; we will have to live with those consequences.” In case you’re a Republican, what Silver is practicing is called “ethics.”

Donald Trump is not a friend of free speech. He calls the free press “enemy of the American people” and has suggested we change laws, against our Constitution, that will allow punishing the press for reporting negatively about him. He’s not a friend of democracy. He’s tried to reward Putin and Russia by getting them back into the G7, from which they were expelled after invading a democratic American ally. He worked to steal one election, by asking a foreign nation to meddle, and he’s doing it again to steal a second.

I stand with Hong Kong. Anyone who favors democracy over authoritarianism, including the president of the United States, should stand with Hong Kong. Our president (sic) could stand to learn about principles, ethics, freedom of speech, social justice, and democracy from a bunch of basketball players.

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