Adam Silver lost the NBA “hundreds of millions” due to the fallout from China

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told reporters this week that China’s response to former Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey Expressing support for the anti-government protesters in Hong Kong In 2019 the league cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Morey, who is now general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, tweeted in October 2019 an image that read, “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” Morey later deleted the tweet and explained that he had no intention of offending the Rockets’ fans or friends in China. Demonstrators were protesting against China’s control of Hong Kong at the time.

China pulled the games for the first time from CCTV shortly after Morey’s comments, but The NBA returned to Chinese TV sets in March. Silver said the NBA lost “hundreds of millions” of dollars due to the 18-month blackout, but he also highlighted the league’s commitment to free speech for players, coaches and executives.

“Others have since spoken out about their views on China and elsewhere in the world, and if the consequences are that we stop broadcasting or lose money, we accept that,” Silver told reporters at a news conference on Thursday. According to Reuters.

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver
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The National Basketball Association initially said Murray’s comments were “unfortunate” and that he “deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China.” The university will later issue another statement affirming its commitment to freedom of expression.

Silver Thursday also responded to criticism from US lawmakers about the NBA’s working relationship with China, noting that the league is just one of many companies working with the Chinese.

“From a political point of view, nearly every Fortune 100 company does business in China,” Silver said. “We have a huge, gigantic business relationship with China. Almost all of the phones in this room, the clothes you’re wearing, the shoes you’re wearing, are made in China. From a larger societal point of view, that’s something we have to look to the US government for direction.”

He continued, “If people are now suggesting that we should no longer have trade relations with China, and I don’t think they do, then this is a huge global issue where we will take the lead from our government.”

NBA agent Enes Kanter Freedom has been an outspoken critic of China for its human rights abuses Los Angeles Lakers striker LeBron James repeatedly called out And other mathematicians about trade relations with the state.

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The first game of the NBA Finals is back on Chinese CCTV.
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Chinese video streaming site Tencent has pulled the Boston Celtics’ season opener after Freedom, who was a member of the team at the time, wore sneakers criticizing China’s treatment of Tibet.

But some NBA executives have taken a different approach, downplaying the severity of the Chinese abuse.

Chamath Palihapitiya, one of the owners of the Golden State Warriors, said in January that “nobody cares” about Chinese internment camps and forced labor for the Uyghur population.

“No one cares what happens to the Uyghurs, okay,” Palihapitiya said on the “All-In” podcast at the time. “You bring it up because you care and I think it’s OK that you care. The rest of us don’t care. I’m just telling you a very cruel and ugly truth. Of all the things I care about, yes, it’s below my line.”

Later, he retracted his comments on Twitter, saying that he believed “human rights matter, whether in China, the United States, or elsewhere.”

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said in October 2020 that he is “against human rights abuses around the world”, but disagrees with dealing with China “because we have to choose our battles.”

Personally, I prioritize local issues. “I am against human rights abuses around the world,” Cuban said in a podcast at the time.

Silver celebrated the NBA’s return to Chinese broadcasting and claimed that the league’s partnership with China does not contradict its beliefs.

“I think the engagement is positive, especially through sports,” Silver said at the press conference. “Using sports as a platform to keep people all over the world talking is critical. At the same time, I don’t think it goes against our values ​​to broadcast our game in China and over 200 other countries in the world.”

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