China cancels Brooklyn Nets' scheduled visit to a school

Joanna Estrada
October 9, 2019

"What I also tried to suggest is that I understand there are consequences from his freedom of speech and we will have to live with those consequences".

The broadcaster indicated the decision was prompted by earlier remarks Silver made in Japan.

That said, the response, the response by ownership and, I think, the shock and shameful response by Adam Silver just left a lot of jaws on the ground, given really the de minimis statement of support for these Hong Kong protesters that Daryl Morey tweeted.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry tacitly supported the online vitriol hurled at Morey and other Americans for supporting the protests in a statement Tuesday.

"Fans, sponsors, websites and broadcasters can shun one team, but they cannot and will not shun an entire league", he wrote.

That prompted the Chinese Basketball Association to announce that it would sever ties with the Rockets. "So when a few of them see a foreigner use "freedom of expression" to justify the statement that seriously harmed their feelings, they chose to make disrespectful comments as well in the name of "freedom of expression'". I'm thrilled with what he said.

Meanwhile the Global Times, a nationalist paper known for communicating the ruling Communist Party's attitudes to the world, issued a blunt warning to global firms that speaking out on human rights and other sensitive issues would cost them market access.

The NBA's account is followed by almost 42 million people on leading Chinese platform Weibo, while the most popular American team in China - the Golden State Warriors - has more than 8.5 million followers.

This came a day after the Chinese government canceled the Nets' NBA Cares event. The Lakers were arriving there Tuesday. While some NBA coaches choose to stay silent on the NBA-China issue, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich - one never afraid to voice his opinion on political issues - gave his unwavering support to NBA commissioner Adam Silver amid the escalating rift between the NBA and China.

While Morey later deleted the post, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta had already seen the tweet and responded to the backlash, with a note distancing the franchise from the post. Hong Kong police and armed pro-China mobs have injured dozens of protesters, prominently including a young woman blinded by a close-range bean bag round police shot into her face. China has accused foreign parties in the United States and elsewhere of encouraging the demonstrations.

The protests were sparked by opposition to a law allowing extradition to mainland China, but have since evolved into broader calls for democracy.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is under fire after he avoided commenting on the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

"How can it be possible to carry out exchanges and cooperation with China without knowing China's public opinion?".

And now, China's problems have become the NBA's problems - minus the tear gas and water cannons. "It is not the role of the adjudicate those differences", Silver said in a statement.

Setting aside what was a rather muddled handling of by the National Basketball Association in its initial response, it is clear that China demands that American companies play by their rules including violating perhaps the most sacred amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

"This is about far more than growing our business".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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