Former Gators QB signee Jaden Rashada lands at Arizona State

Whitley's Believe It Or Not: NBA puts profit over principle

David Whitley
Gator Sports

Happy Thanksgiving. Before we count our blessings, I’d like to explain why LeBron James will never win a Women’s Tennis Association tournament.

First, he’s yet to identify as a female. If he does, he’d lead the WNBA in scoring, rebounding and teammates feeling weird in the shower.

Second, LeBron is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party. And the WTA is the one sports organization that doesn’t grovel to China.

It has threatened to pull tournaments out of China unless the CCP comes clean on Peng Shuai. In case your news has been censored lately, Peng is one of China’s most famous tennis players. She went missing this month after accusing a former CCP honcho of sexual assault.

Tennis stars from Roger Federer to Serena Williams to Chris Evert have been raising their voices in concern. Which brings us to LeBron and his league.

The NBA’s leading social justice warrior routinely chides America for its failings, yet he plays dumb whenever asked about China’s genocide, censorship, labor camps, mass surveillance and authoritarian crackdown of Hong Kong.

The entire NBA is beholden to Xi Jinping, who controls the buying habits of 1.4 billion potential sneaker-wearing customers. The International Olympic Committee is equally craven, which is why next year’s Winter Olympics will proceed unless Xi Jinping personally shoves 100 Uyghurs into the Olympic cauldron during the Opening Ceremonies.

The only league that’s shown any spine is the WTA.

“We’re definitely willing to pull our business and deal with all the implications that come with it,” CEO Steve Simon told CNN. “Because this is certainly, this is bigger than the business.”

With an attitude like that, he’ll never be named NBA commissioner. For all that league’s moral preening, nothing is bigger than the business….

Blessing No. 1 – I’m thankful the Mayflower ended up in America, not China. ...

Stud of the Week: I never thought I’d write this name here, but … Kim Kardashian!

She paid for a charter flight that flew an Afghanistan girls soccer team from Pakistan to London. The girls and family members fled Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover.

Dud of the Week: I knew I’d eventually write this name here… Antonio Brown!

He allegedly used a fake Covid vaccination card to evade NFL protocols. Brown’s ex-live-in chef told the Tampa Bay Times that Brown got a bogus card from a teammate. In related news, NFL investigators reportedly destroyed a security video of Brown and Tom Brady working a Kinko’s copy machine. ...

Update: Chinese authorities arranged for Peng Shua to have a 30-minute video call with IOC president Thomas Bach Sunday. Bach reported that Peng told him she is safe, that she made up all that stuff about being sexually assaulted and that she loves working 20 hours a day making Nikes at her local concentration camp. ...

Blessing No. 2 – I’m thankful New England decided Tom Brady was over the hill….

The Texans announced ex-UF quarterback Jeff Driskel is going to try to become a tight end. We hope that works out better than it did for Tim Tebow, but I don’t know if that will make much of a sales pitch for their old school. “Hey, Mr. 5-star QB. Come to Florida and we’ll develop you into a backup NFL tight end!”….

Speaking of recruiting problems, Dan Mullen’s firing Sunday was easily overshadowed worldwide by Manchester United sacking its manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. At his farewell news conference, a disgruntled Solskjaer said, “at least I didn’t give up 52 goals to Samford.” ...

Irony of the Week: The Wisconsin State Journal reported that a cow died after being hit by a milk truck on a highway near Platteville. I don’t know what to add to that. ...

Blessing No. 3 – I’m glad Zenith invented the remote control in 1955 so fans could easily turn off the Detroit game every Thanksgiving. ...

The NBA moved the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte to protest a state bill requiring transgender people to use public bathrooms that match the sex on their birth certificates. Last week, the league said it will play two exhibition games in oil-rich Abu Dhabi next year.

The same Abu Dhabi where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death. Commissioner Adam Silver said the NBA insisted that all ticket holders be allowed to use the bathrooms of their choice before being executed. ...

Blessing No. 4 — I’m thankful my live-in chef found a turkey that cost less than $75….

This Just In: ESPN reports the top three candidates for the Manchester United job are David Beckham, Pele and Lane Kiffin. ...

Today in History: 1621 – Pilgrims share a Thanksgiving feast with Wampanoag Indians. Then they gathered to watch the Lions lose to the Steelers.

2001 – Antonio Brown skips school and uses a fake ID to buy cigarettes at a Miami 7-Eleven.

2017 – Jim McElwain changes his name to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. ...

Blessing No. 5 - I’m thankful we live in a country where athletes don’t disappear after criticizing the government. I just wish more athletes would be thankful for that. ..

Update: In an attempt to lure the 2026 NBA All-Star Game back to Charlotte, North Carolina legislators say they are considering a bill that would outlaw homosexuality. ...

That’s all the space we have for this week’s Whitley’s Believe It or Not. Count your blessings, don’t eat too much turkey and if you see a cow standing on the side of a road in Wisconsin, please tell it to look both ways before crossing.

— David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at And follow him on Twitter: @DavidEWhitley