China Censors NBA Games

Oh, what will the people of Red China do without being able to watch the National Basketball Association exhibition games? THE HORROR!

So, in the escalating war(s) between the United States and China on trade, it looks like the Chinese mainland is monitoring the free speech of American business owners in order to use a few as examples. News from the far east is thanks to one of the executives of an NBA team speaking out in support of the protesters in Hong Kong, the government is not going to put any exhibition games played in China on television.

Chinese state television said on Tuesday it would not air NBA exhibition games played in the country this week, heaping pressure on the U.S. basketball league after a tweet by a Houston Rockets executive backing protests in Hong Kong.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey apologised on Monday for any hurt caused by the tweet, which he quickly deleted over the weekend.

But China’s government, fans and the team’s partners have not been assuaged, resulting in loss of sponsors and broadcasts in the world’s second-largest economy and an important National Basketball Association (NBA) market.

“We strongly oppose Silver’s support of Morey on the basis of freedom of speech and we think any comments that challenge a country’s sovereignty and social stability is not within the scope of freedom of speech,” CCTV said Tuesday in a statement in Chinese, adding that it would review its relationship with the NBA.

The NBA issued a statement saying it regretted Morey’s remarks, drawing criticism from U.S. lawmakers.

(Does anyone else find the Reuters presentation here to be a big discombobulated?)

So, the Chinese government is telling the NBA to control the speech of the people within it or get kicked out of the market? Seriously? Our freedom of speech obviously means zilch to them, but at least one NBA official defended the American principle.

But commissioner Adam Silver said it was not up to the NBA to regulate what players, employees and team owners said.

“It is inevitable that people around the world – including from America and China – will have different viewpoints over different issues,” Silver said in a statement. “It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences.”

For that, Mr. Silver is to be commended.

As for the Chinese and their “sovereignty,” most Americans are cheering on the people of Hong Kong.

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