(Video Credit: Karol Mowi)
The NBA leaned leftward in 2016 when the league pulled the All-Star Game out of Charlotte, North Carolina over a bathroom bill that sought to protect women and girls from transgender males, and now they are hypocritically playing games in the United Arab Emirates where homosexuality is punishable by death.
The NBA claimed the North Carolina bill discriminated against the LGBTQ community but they seem to be good with playing in a Middle Eastern country known for executing those very same individuals they claim to champion.
The United Arab Emirates considers all LGBTQ activity criminal. Any individual found guilty of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender faces not only huge fines and forced mental health treatment, they could either go to prison for life, get chemically castrated, flogged, or executed by hanging, beheading, etc., according to Outkick.
It seems odd that the NBA, which has promoted itself as being at the forefront of gay rights, would choose to play games in the brutal UAE. The hypocrisy of the league not only includes dealing with communist China but an Islamic country that is notorious for LGBTQ and human rights abuses.
The only way this could be more perfect is if they sent the WNBA players with them.
— BC the Man (@BCakaTheMan) May 10, 2022
It’s fair to assume that the UAE has more money than Charlotte, NC.
— Bart Osmond (@senor_crappy) May 10, 2022
— Mitch Metzger (@konigfleischer) May 10, 2022
Commissioner Adam Silver was asked about the NBA’s seemingly conflicting stances by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“It’s a fair question,” Silver responded. “We continue to believe that using sports, using basketball, we can improve people’s lives through sport and that, as Nelson Mandela famously said, sport can change the world. I think that we bring our games all over the world.”
“I mean, part of why we choose certain markets is of course economics. There’s no question about that. It’s enormously expensive and resource-driven to bring teams around the world. We also want to try bringing our games to places we haven’t been before, and the Middle East is one of those markets,” he continued.
“We look at many different factors in terms of how we travel, bring our games. But our ultimate goal is to bring our games to everywhere around the world. There are lines we draw, but we’re an American company and usually we allow those lines to be drawn by our government. Whoever happens to be our administration gives us direction on where they think it’s appropriate for us to operate and not operate,” Silver hypocritically added.
The deciding factor is apparently monetary. Middle Eastern countries are willing to pay huge sums for sports such as golf and basketball to play in their part of the world. Whereas the games may be a draw in the UAE, they are not expected to be watched much in the U.S. It would seem the NBA’s alliances are notably shifting.
Used to be a fan……back when they played for the love of the game, and not for the love of China.
— Terry “Trix” Cogan (@TerryTrixCogan) May 10, 2022
All about that money, eh @NBA
— Reggie Weaver (@Weaverinc31) May 10, 2022
Well if they didn’t have double standards they wouldn’t have any at all
— Scotty Buchanan (@gettnmurky) May 10, 2022
The Milwaukee Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks are scheduled to play in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 6 and 8 at the Etihad Arena, according to OutKick.
There will be more to it than just the preseason games. The NBA will also hold other activities outside the arrangement to encourage fan engagement. Those will most likely include junior leagues and NBA 2K video game exhibitions.
“We are thrilled to be hosting the UAE’s first NBA games in Abu Dhabi and look forward to welcoming the Atlanta Hawks, the Milwaukee Bucks and basketball fans from across the world to discover this incredible city and experience our authentic Emirati culture for themselves,” Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, director of the league and city’s Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi, said in a release according to Yahoo! Sports US.
“Basketball has the ability to unite communities, and the spirit of the game will be felt by players and visitors, both on and off the court. The unveiling of the NBA teams marks an important milestone in our wider partnership with this world-class sports organization,” the DCT announced on Tuesday.
The games are part of a multi-year partnership between the NBA and DCT Abu Dhabi that was brokered earlier this year. It includes the Jr. NBA Abu Dhabi league which is a youth league of 450 boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 14. There will also be interactive fan events with appearances by current and former NBA players, NBA FIT clinics, and an NBA 2K League exhibition event at the Middle East Film and Comic-Con.
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