The meat began when Cuban responded to a tweet from speak radio host Mark Davis wherein he declared he was excited for the NBA to return to motion however could be “OUT” the minute a participant kneels throughout the nationwide anthem.
“Bye,” Cuban responded to the tweet, however Cruz took discover and didn’t recognize the snarky response that appeared to suggest the Mavericks do not thoughts if gamers protest through the nationwide anthem by taking a knee.
“Actually??!? NBA is telling everybody who stands for the flag, who honors our cops and our veterans, to ‘piss off?’ In Texas, no much less? Good luck with that,” Cruz wrote.
The Mavericks proprietor fired again, “Have some balls for as soon as @tedcruz. It is my tweet.”
Cruz then evoked the continued controversy over the NBA’s relationship with China. The league got here underneath fireplace final yr after Houston Rockets normal supervisor Daryl Morey tweeted pro-Hong Kong rhetoric simply forward of the league’s China collection between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets.
“Speaking of balls, tell us what you think about China,” Cruz wrote. “I’ll wait.”
Earlier this month, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., despatched a press launch detailing a letter he deliberate to ship NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, criticizing the league’s choice to limit messages players can wear on their uniforms to “pre-approved, social justice slogans” whereas “censoring support” for legislation enforcement and criticism of the Chinese language Communist Get together.
China started to crack down on the NBA virtually instantly after final yr Morey expressed assist for Hong Kong, as Chinese language sportswear manufacturers both suspended or severed ties with the Rockets. The Communist authorities additionally blacked out broadcasts of the league’s preseason video games within the nation and canceled NBA Cares occasions and media availabilities forward of an exhibition video games between the Lakers and Nets.
Many NBA stars, coaches and executives have since been criticized for taking a stance on Black Lives Matter and anti-Trump points whereas refusing to talk up about points associated to the Chinese language Communist Get together.
Hawley’s letter requested the NBA commissioner to reply 5 questions: Whether or not the NBA will censor pro-military or pro-police statements; whether or not it is true that phrases authorized for show on jerseys do not embrace messages in assist of victims of the Chinese language Communist Get together; whether or not the NBA will censor any message exhibiting assist for victims of the Chinese language Group Get together; how the league plans to defend gamers who converse out towards China; and whether or not the league will condemn China for making an attempt to silence gamers.
Cruz additionally mocked Cuban for implying that the senator was in some way making an attempt to maintain his tweet a secret by circuitously tagging the Mavericks proprietor.
“Yes, Mark, my communication tweeting out my response to the world was meant somehow to keep it a secret. Because you’re very scary,” Cruz wrote.
Cruz despatched a follow-up tweet noting that Cuban had not responded.
“Let’s attempt less complicated. Mark, powerful man, are you able to say ‘Free Hong Kong?’ Can your gamers put that on their jerseys? Are you able to condemn the CCP’s focus camps w/ 1 million Uyghurs? Are you able to say ANYTHING apart from ‘Chairman Mao is beautiful & wise?’ Cruz requested.
Cuban finally responded to Cruz’s calls for to talk about China, saying he would not get concerned in home insurance policies of different international locations. He additionally supplied a link to a 2019 YouTube video as proof he would converse out towards China if wanted and mocked Cruz for his relationship with President Trump.
In the meantime, Hawley additionally slammed the NBA for pulling customized gear from its on-line retailer following the backlash the league acquired final week for blocking “Free Hong Kong” to be printed on its attire.
Fox Information’ Ryan Gaydos and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.