Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban continued their Twitter throwdown today to see where the NBA's loyalty lies, according to The Daily Wire.
Cruz and Cuban faced off when radio host Mark Davis expressed disdain for Mavericks players who might kneel for the national anthem. Cuban bluntly shut Davis down, "Bye."
That's when Cruz weighed in to criticize the NBA for endorsing blatant disrespect towards America's symbols and its patriots—in a fiercely patriotic state.
In response to Cruz's screenshot, Cuban snapped back at the senator: "Have some balls for once @tedcruz. Speak to me. It's my tweet." To which, Cruz fired back, simply, "Speaking of balls, tell us what you think about China. I'll wait."
It became a quick-witted duel between the two Texans to see who was swifter to the trigger and who couldn't draw his tongue.
Cuban went silent as Cruz fired a whirlwind of questions at him: "Can you say 'Free Hong Kong?' Can your players put that on their jerseys? Can you condemn the CCP’s concentration camps w/ 1 million Uyghurs?"
Then Cuban answered but he redirected the argument to Black Lives Matter and the pandemic. He continued by linking an interview where he had criticized China over trade, suggesting a halt on Chinese trading companies listed in the US.
Cuban's commentary elicited push back from Cruz who used the pandemic talking point as a pivot to point out the origin of the Wuhan virus—in China.
This backlash against the NBA comes after the Association's repeated refusal to stand up for democracy in Hong Kong and call out China's human rights violations.
Sports commentator Clay Travis had demonstrated that the NBA censors its fans from placing "FREEHONGKONG" on customized league jerseys, while Soviet Union leader "Stalin" and Chinese communist revolutionary "Mao Zedong" are permissible entries.
Last year, two Philadelphia 76ers fans were kicked out of a basketball game for holding up pro-Hong Kong signs—presumably because of the attending opponents, the Guangzhou Loong-Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association.