NBA Owner Mark Cuban Refuses To Criticize Communist Takeover Of Hong Kong

NBA Owner Mark Cuban Refuses To Criticize Communist Takeover Of Hong Kong

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and “Shark Tank” cast member, explicitly refused to defend democratic protesters in Hong Kong facing oppression from the Chinese Communist Party, after he was challenged to do so by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

“Can you say ‘Free Hong Kong’?” the Republican senator asked Cuban in a tweet. “Can you condemn the CCP’s concentration camps w/ 1 million Uyghurs?”

Cuban responded by voicing support for the Black Lives Matter movement, insisting that systemic racism exists in America, and criticizing Cruz for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. But he failed to even mention the people of Hong Kong or the Uyghur Muslims being persecuted by the Chinese government.

Instead, he suggested that he was only concerned with China “as it concerns American citizens” — oddly reminiscent of the “America First” policies popularized by President Trump, who Cuban criticized in his Twitter thread.

Cuban defended his silence on China by claiming “I have never gotten involved in the domestic policies of ANY foreign country.”

China’s current “domestic policies,” which Cuban claims to not get involved in, include forced sterilization and abortions for minority women, and soldiers rounding up blindfolded Uyghur Muslims onto trains. The Chinese government has forced at least a million Uyghur Muslims into “re-education” camps since 2017. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, the Chinese Communist Party enacted a new “national security” law that allows the CCP to go after citizens of Hong Kong who are suspected of “subversion,” in a drastic crackdown on freedom of expression.

Despite his claims, Cuban has spoken about China’s policies before — and in favor of the communist government’s actions. In 2019, he weighed in on tariffs, calling China “the ‘stable’ trading partner that doesn’t create or escalate trade wars.”

Cuban’s unwillingness to condemn the Chinese government’s treatment of its people comes after the NBA banned fans from creating customs jerseys with the slogan “FreeHongKong” while allowing phrases such as “KillCops” and “Burn Jews.”

U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr last week condemned China’s “ruthless crackdown” on the people of Hong Kong, as well as its treatment of a million Uyghur Muslims who have been rounded up into “indoctrination and labor camps.”

“China is no closer to democracy today than it was in 1989 when tanks confronted pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square,” Barr said.

Elle Reynolds is an intern at the Federalist, and a senior at Patrick Henry College studying government and journalism. You can follow her work on Twitter at @_etreynolds.
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