Culture

2019 Man of the Year: Daryl Morey

Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets
Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets / Getty Images

"Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong."

With those simple words, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey set off a series of events that exposed for the first time the extent to which entire American industries have become enslaved to the economic power of one of our greatest enemies.

The NBA, once hyped as the "woke" league in professional sports, immediately distanced itself from Morey's pro-democracy activism. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta apologized in a tweet, as star player James Harden told the Chinese, "We apologize. We love China." LeBron James chastised Morey, saying that "there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you're not thinking about others and you're only thinking about yourself." Asked about China's human rights record, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr attacked America's "record of human rights abuses."

The same league that crowed over its own moral righteousness on matters like gun control and Black Lives Matter outed itself as a money-grubbing fraud. And suddenly, Americans began to notice how the allure of Chinese markets had led dozens of U.S. companies to betray their supposed principles. That pro-LGBT biopic Bohemian Rhapsody? Stripped of gay references. Your favorite video games? Banning the Chinese word for "freedom." Your favorite streaming service? Not picking up South Park out of fear of angering its Chinese masters.

For his defense of freedom and his exposure of rank hypocrites, Daryl Morey is a Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year.