On Thursday, October 17, 2019, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that the Chinese government was pressuring the National Basketball Association to fire Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey over a tweet the Houston GM made in support of Hong Kong protestors according to a report from Time.
“We made clear that we were being asked to fire him, by the Chinese government, by the parties we dealt with, government and business,” Silver stated during his first US interview about the league’s current scandal with China. “We said there’s no chance that’s happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him.”
While addressing the TIME 100 Health Summit, Silver disclosed that “The losses have already been substantial,” while also noting that “Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak, and we’ll see what happens next.”
“I don’t know where we go from here,” Silver stated, also highlighting that “The financial consequences have been and may continue to be fairly dramatic.”
Silver claims that the NBA didn’t bow down to China’s demands, noting “These American values — we are an American business — travel with us wherever we go.”
The recent China drama has been a bad look for NBA stars like LeBron James. James has built a reputation for virtue signaling on generic political issues, but on the question of China, he has remained silent. Some speculate that his Nike deal — a company that is very active in China — may explain his silence on China.
The bigger story is the growing influence China has on the world stage and how it is able to corrupt American companies. China may have discarded some of its genocidal past, but it still remains an authoritarian country with bold geopolitical ambitions.
Subverting American institutions from within is likely one of the ways it will advance its agenda.
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