It’s hard to believe, but NBA types have not sucked up enough yet to the Chinese communists. No worries. Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons has come riding up to the league’s rescue.
Simmons is a former NBA rookie of the year, first team all-pro and all-defensive team member whose career, attitude and shooting ability have come under severe criticism. He found some cover from that by donating a basketball court to the town of Machang, China to promote basketball there. That was generous of him.
However, in the process of that donation, Simmons thanked Chinese Ambassador Huang Ping, a communist and denier of China’s Uyghur concentration camps. That was ignorant of him.
“I’m very excited and happy to announce the court donation," Simmons said, blundering through a press conference. "Deep thanks to Ambassador Huang Ping and the Guizhou government. I first visited China to play basketball when I was 16 years old, and then again as an NBA player. I always enjoyed visiting the people, and the fans are always so welcoming, and the love for basketball there is incredible.”
Ping serves as consul general of China’s New York Consulate, and several U.S. government and business leaders are cozy with the controversial figure. He has termed China's ruling Communist Party "great" and claimed that persecution of the Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps is a lie.
“There are lots of lies here, fabricated by some people with their own political agenda," Ping said in a 2021 interview. "As I said, there’s no genocide, not a single evidence to prove that there’s a genocide or something there. It’s just a slandering.”
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the State Department, under the Trump and Biden administrations, has accused China of committing genocide towards the Uyghurs. In the past six years, more than a million Uyghurs have been detained in camps, and they’ve been the victims of torture, rape, brainwashing, forced labor and sterilization.
Ping has labeled the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) a “large get together” and dismissed the camps holding Uyghurs as academic.
“I see these facilities extra as campuses than camps,” he said. “We deliver these folks there for reconnaissance. And that was very efficient in combating terrorism and de-radicalization. Up to now in precisely four years there hasn’t been a single terrorist assault.”
Simmons, who had been refusing to take open dunks and layups in NBA games, really needs to vet the people he’s going to praise before he shoots off his mouth about evil Chinese propagandists.
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