The head coach of the Golden State Warriors Steve Kerr tried to link AR-15s and mass shootings with a question about Chinese human rights practices on Thursday.
After Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted in support of Hong Kong protestors, NBA players and coaches have been put on the spot about China and protests in Hong Kong over the past week.
A reporter questioned Kerr about his previous visits to China and if he was asked about Chinese human rights abuses during those visits.
“No. Nor has our record of human rights abuses come up either,” Kerr replied. “People in China didn’t ask me about, you know, people owning AR-15s and mowing each other down in a mall. The world is a complex place and there’s more gray than black and white.”
"No. Nor has (America's) record of human rights abuses come up either… People in China didn't ask me about, you know, people owning AR-15s and mowing each other down in a mall." pic.twitter.com/56mNC7LmID
— Sam Hustis (@SamHustis) October 11, 2019
Kerr’s refusal to not discuss human rights abuses in China is likely tied to China’s overall influence in NBA business dealings. By criticizing China, the NBA could lose considerable revenue from the country.
As a result of Morey’s tweet, the Chinese government has already removed some NBA preseason games from its state television and shut down several NBA media events. Similarly, the Chinese Basketball League suspended its relationship with the Houston Rockets.
According to USA Today reports, NBA revenue from China stands at $500 million. The Sports Business Journal reports that NBA China is valued at $5 billion.
The NBA’s biggest stars travel to China annually to sell shoes and apparel for companies such as Nike and Under Armour, while other stars have major endorsement deals with Chinese companies. If the NBA witnesses losses in the Chinese market, the NBA ends up potentially losing a large amount of money.
In the U.S., it’s culturally in vogue to trash American institutions and traditions such as the Second Amendment while turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed by regimes like the People’s Republic of China.
In many ways the left and “woke” companies such as the NBA become strange bedfellow with authoritarian regimes like China when cases like these emerge.
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