Kowtow is an overused term but it fits quite well for the recent actions of the National Basketball Association. The NBA got more heat over its groveling to the Communist Chinese last week than Donald Trump did for his own “happy anniversary” tweet to one of the world’s worst regimes, ever.

Trump hasn’t issued any encouragement to the people in Hong Kong whose attempts to retain their limited liberties are being met with bullets and bayonets from Beijing.

Thus a Houston NBA executive’s tweet in support of Hong Kong democracy stood in sharp contrast to the President .

Houston Rocket General Manager Daryl Morey must have heard it loud and clear from the NBA when he dared to tweet “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” He quickly deleted the tweet, while the NBA said the comments had “deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable.”

Yes, regrettable meaning it could financially hurt the NBA, which makes a lot of money in China. The NBA soon regretted its bowing and scraping when Americans (there are still a few) scorned the NBA for placing profits over free speech in defense of democracy itself.

But that put the NBA back in foul territory with Red China, which canceled some telecasts and noted with Orwellian precision that “any remarks that challenge national sovereignty and social stability do not belong to the category of free speech.”

It would be nice to think that the NBA would stand strong, but it didn’t. It has since been warning reporters not to ask players or personnel about Red China’s muzzle. It even took away the microphone when one reporter dared to ask.