(RepublicanWire.org) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had an interesting message for American athletes on Thursday, the eve of the Beijing Olympics, during a hearing of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

The California Democrat started off well, taking aim at the Chinese government for its egregious human rights abuses and the International Olympic Committee for its decision to award the Winter Games to America’s greatest foe.

She told the group the U.S. has an “urgent moral duty to shine a bright light” on China’s violations, according to Reuters.Advertisement – story continues below

“Now the IOC,” Pelosi said, “aided by corporate sponsors, once again turns a blind eye with the 2022 Winter Olympics just to bolster their bottom line. If we do not speak out against human rights violations in China, because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to speak out against human rights violations anywhere.”

So far, so good. Most of us likely agree with the speaker’s statements on both China and the IOC.Trending:Email Hidden for 5 Years Declared Hunter Biden ‘Undercut’ US Efforts to Fight Ukraine Corruption – Report

It was what came next that has us scratching our heads.

Pelosi issued a warning to members of Team USA: “I would say to our athletes, you’re there to compete. Do not risk incurring the anger of the Chinese government because they are ruthless.Advertisement – story continues below

“I know there is a temptation on the part of some to speak out while they are there. I respect that, but I also worry about what the Chinese government might do to their reputations, to their families.”

Just minutes after stressing the importance of holding China to account, the speaker of the House urged American athletes to keep their mouths shut in Beijing. “Do not risk incurring the anger of the Chinese government because they are ruthless.”

If any of the athletes want to call out the human rights abuses of the Chinese government, they should feel free to do so.

Millions of people will be watching. Participation in the Olympics provides an athlete with a very large platform from which he or she can send a message to the world.Advertisement – story continues below

Athletes obviously can choose whether to speak out on China’s abuses. If an individual athlete has weighed the risks and feels called to take a stand against the unspeakable cruelty of the CCP, that should be his or her decision.

But either way, it’s wrong for Pelosi to try to put a universal muzzle on the whole team.Related:Here’s How Democrats Plan to ‘Rig’ the 2022 Election to Keep Democrats in Majority and Pelosi Speaker

If she had her way, the world would potentially miss out on a meaningful protest against its pre-eminent dictatorship. The speaker’s efforts to stop people from following their conscience is a disgrace and doubles as a huge gift to the freedom-hating CCP.

What’s behind it?Advertisement – story continues below

A few Twitter users had some ideas about Pelosi’s stance.

More seriously, if the research conducted by Peter Schweizer, a senior contributor to Breitbart News and the president of the Government Accountability Institute, is accurate, the CCP has played a hand in bolstering Pelosi’s own bottom line.

His recently published book, “Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win,” made a big splash for what it said about the Biden family’s business dealings in China.

Less noticed were Schweizer’s revelations about how the Pelosi family has benefited from the largess of the Chinese government.Advertisement – story continues below

Prior to the book’s release, Schweizer joined Fox News’ Mark Levin on his show, “Life, Liberty and Levin.” The two discussed “subterranean” efforts between the CCP and various U.S. institutions. China, Schweizer noted, has been very successful with something the Chinese call “elite capture.”Should Olympic athletes feel free to speak out against China’s abuses?Yes No
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“They provide deals and benefits to powerful politicians, help make them rich,” he said. “Those politicians become more friendly toward China.”

Schweizer said that when Pelosi first arrived in Washington, she was very opposed to the CCP. “Her position has evolved because her husband and her son secured deals in China,” he said.Advertisement – story continues below

He recounted the first time Beijing hosted the Olympics, which was the 2008 Summer Games.

“She initially favored a boycott of those Olympics,” he said. “But then something curious happened. Her husband was invested in a couple of limousine companies. … They actually got contracts to shuttle VIPs around in Beijing for the Olympics. It was quite a big contract. So, she reversed herself. She said she no longer favored a full-out boycott. And the deals have mounted.”

“Nancy Pelosi has steadfastly refused for two years now to even allow a single congressional hearing on the origins of COVID and how it came from China,” Schweizer pointed out.

There appears to be a selfish motive behind every move, every statement this woman makes. And Pelosi’s “concern” for the athletes is no exception.Advertisement – story continues below

The consensus among Western nations is that China’s treatment of the Uyghur population and other Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang region is appalling. There’s a reason Republican Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey called the Games “the genocide Olympics” at a congressional hearing last summer.

In December, The Associated Press reported that “a prominent British barrister” had conducted an independent study “to assess evidence on China’s alleged rights abuses against the Uyghur people.” He concluded that “the Chinese government committed genocide and crimes against humanity.”

U.S. athletes, if they choose to speak out against China’s atrocities, should not be silenced.