Bob Costas: ‘Outspoken’ Kaepernick, LeBron James ‘Conspicuously Mum’ on China’s Abuses

Former NBC Sports personality Bob Costas said Tuesday on CNN that “outspoken” former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and NBA star LeBron James were “conspicuously mum” on China’s record of human rights abuse.

The Biden administration announced on Monday that the United States will not send an envoy of diplomats to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing but will allow American athletes to participate in the games.

Costas said, “Beginning in 1996, when I ran afoul of the Chinese because I said as they came in during the opening ceremony in Atlanta, you’re looking at the one nation that has the means and the motivation to replicate what the old Soviet Bloc and the Eastern Bloc did with their sports machine, with all that implies and a few other things. Orchestrated from Beijing, there was an effort to have me fired. NBC would have none of it. Then they said we’ll accept a full public apology in primetime, and I wouldn’t do that. Eventually, it went away.”

He added, “By the way, a lot of Nike’s goods that benefit the likes of Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James is made in China. And those outspoken individuals — and in many cases, I think millions of Americans would agree with their positions on domestic issues, but they are conspicuously mum when it comes to China, and no matter what the issues are here, and they are serious issues, they pale alongside what’s going on there.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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