ESPN published a bombshell report this week detailing the constant abuse that took place at the NBA’s training academies in China, but only one of its television shows mentioned the report at all, according to Outkick.
The show, called “Highly Questionable,” spent an entire segment talking about the report and blasting the NBA for turning a blind eye to the human rights abuses taking place in China.
“The way that the NBA has handled it has seemed particularly weak, even with LeBron James having what I believe to be his worst public moment as an athlete because he took the wrong side talking about Daryl Morey and free speech,” said host Dan Le Batard, referencing an earlier incident in which the NBA compelled prominent players to shut down debate over Hong Kong pro-democracy protests.
Another host, Pablo Torre, said that the NBA essentially put its “logo” on “a series of human rights abuses and atrocities.”
“That’s worrisome,” Torre said.
“It’s especially insane, and it’s insane for this reason—they didn’t need this,” he continued. “They didn’t need to be in northwest China. They didn’t need to be in China at all. What they did, though, was want it, because there are giant dollar signs all over that part of the globe.”
ESPN’s other seven shows, however, did not spend one minute discussing its own reporters’ work or the fall-out the NBA could experience because of it.
As Outkick pointed out, all ESPN needed to do was narrate a “quick summary that pushed viewers to read the fully story online.”
At least two Republican senators have already signaled that they might subpoena NBA Commissioner Adam Silver over ESPN’s findings:
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) July 29, 2020
“This is big-time money for the NBA, and I think we do deserve to know exactly what they’re making,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said of the NBA’s relationship with China.
“And we deserve to have them explain to us why they won’t stand up to this authoritarian regime.”