Everyone is familiar with what has happened with Blizzard. Some are less aware with the NBA situation which is parallel to the current predicament in esports. With the release of Blizzard's statement just a mere few hours ago, they have demonstrated their willingness to double down on their actions and side with their Chinese markets. And that's fine. For a company, you pick what you believe will benefit you the most. Your ultimate goal is to generate profits and make your stockholders money. And if Blizzard genuinely believes that their Chinese markets are worth catering to while alienating their western markets, so be it. We have a right to voice our opinions against the company and subsequently boycott their products until they change their stance. That is the give and take of the free market.
The line is crossed when they unveil their blatant hypocrisy. Their stance on the Blitzchung incident was that it was only because they did not want political messages on their platform and they have a right and duty to ensure that their platform remains focused on games and not on outside issues. Except that isn't actually the case. Blizzard has tweeted various comments in support of LGBT rights and equality.
Is that a problem? No, absolutely not. They have every right as a company to make any statements they want regarding issues in our society. In fact, companies should take a stance. But not when they turn around mere months later to say, just kidding we don't actually like political stances when it doesn't benefit us. And that's the problem with their hypocrisy. And it's not just Blizzard.
For those more closely following the NBA, Daryl Morey, owner of the Houston Rockets, tweeted out in support of the Free Hong Kong movement. China in response began removing the Rockets from their platforms and would refuse to broadcast their games, even extending to refusing to broadcast pre-season games that were being played in China. Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, initially apologized to China, but then made a very soft backpedal to a stance of "we respect freedom of expression" without ever once mentioning China or the actual situation at hand.
So here's the hypocrisy. The NBA has always welcomed voices of political opinion. I mean jesus, their press conferences are filled with them when a big news headline appears, coaches and players are very vocal and openly against President Trump, so on and so forth. But I guess when topics about China rolls around, we suddenly should clam up and not speak about that, because that would be wrong and sports aren't political right?
When Laura Ingraham on Fox News made her statement of "Shut up and Dribble", it was responded to by many NBA stars, namely Lebron James, and NBA coaches like Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich. Kobe Bryant even went up to accept his Acadmey Award and mentioned it in his speech. So, players should have a right to discuss political issues and make their voices heard. Again, well within their right, and using their platforms to spread awareness is important in our society when the voices of individual people are typically drowned out and not heard. But then when other real issues happen in the world that might indirectly impact them, they suddenly clam up.
Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors, is one of the most heavy critics of President Trump in the NBA. He is loud, vocal, and isn't afraid to confidently make his opinion of any political issues. But give him a question about China and the current issue? He defaults to "I'm not that well educated" and "Well what about the problems in America?" In short, Kerr is comparing the likes of American issues such as gun violence and police brutality, to human trafficking, organ harvesting, re-education camps, and overt media censorship. And to the surprise of no one, people have fired back at Kerr, with many reddit threads and tweets proclaiming how pathetic and weak he looks.
And here's the best kicker in all of this. Hollywood stars love to attack Trump just like anyone else in America does. I mean, the free pandering points they get are insane. Take a popular star like Chris Evans, actor for Captain America in the Marvel films. He'll tell you first hand how much he hates President Trump and his liberal stances on all of the big issues in America. In fact, he is so vocal about political participation, that he even tweeted out this gem:
So he's set the line: if you speak out on some issues, you should be speaking out on the smaller issues as well. Where do you draw that line of political apathy? And using his own words, you should expect with an issue as big as China that he would make a stand right? Nope, not a single peep out of him and his fellow Hollywood stars. And that's the hypocrisy behind this.
People want to take the moral high ground when it benefits them, and then slither away into the shadows when it makes them uncomfortable. They aren't willing to make that commitment to their actual values and beliefs. They're willing to be silent to fill their pockets, promote their moves to more people to get their money. Yeah, I guess promoting your company, basketball team, or movies as pro-LGBT or equality is going to net you more views and buys on your product. But once you make that move into the political arena, you have to be ready to stand your ground and face the consequences. And if standing up against Trump is gonna be the best you can do, then you're weak and your morals are weak. You're a hypocrite who's only goal is to fill your pockets and pander. If there's one thing anyone reading gets out of this rant, it is to stick to your morals and values and don't compromise them. Because then otherwise, what are you? What is your identity?
I'm ready to see my social score hit 0 now. #FreeHongKong