What happens when an American corporation relies on billions in profits from China, then an employee speaks out against China? The corporation has to cave to the will of the Chinese. This is what’s happening to Nike and the NBA because they make $4 billion off of the Chinese.
Watch below as an NBS spokesperson silences a reporter in the act of blatant censorship…this is NOT America:
This is what totalitarianism looks like in America:
A reporter asked players about the atrocities being committed by the communist Chinese. James Harden and Russell Westbrook were asked if they would “feel differently” about speaking on political and societal affairs because of the events with the NBA/China.
She gets CUT OFF by an NBA censor who informed the reporter that the players would answer basketball questions only.
NBA Players glare at her.
SHARE & SHAME THESE COWARDS:
James Harden and Russell Westbrook were asked if they would “feel differently” about speaking on political and societal affairs because of the events with the NBA/China.
A spokesperson interrupted and informed the reporter that the players would answer basketball questions only. pic.twitter.com/zMe8uWz2hY
— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) October 10, 2019
The Chinese have also pulled Houston Rockets merchandise from Chinese stores because the general manager of the NBA team spoke out against the Chinese:
Houston Rockets merchandise disappeared from several Nike stores in Chinese cities after the controversy about a tweet from the general manager supporting the Hong Kong protests that said: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”
This highlights a conflict with doing business in China…free speech doesn’t exist in China so the Chinese told the Rockets to “correct the error” according to CNBC:
The general manager deleted his tweet and tweeted out an apology:
I have always appreciated the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors have provided and I would hope that those who are upset will know that offending or misunderstanding them was not my intention. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives.”
“I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China.”
Reuters interviewed managers at the Beijing and Shanghai Nike stores that a memo from management called for all Houston Rockets merchandise to be removed.
Even though the Rockets general manager backed down and apologized for his tweet, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league backed the right of the general manager to exercise his free speech.
The NBA is still scheduled to have an exhibition game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets in Shanghai on Thursday night.
With NBA business in China worth more than $4 billion, this is important for both the NBA and Nike who also see China as its top source of revenue growth.
Three Nike stores in Shenzhen kept Rockets and NBA merchandise off their shelves.
Citizens of Hong Kong have protested for over four months about the increasing influence from China.
At what point do the businesses like Nike and the NBA sacrifice everything and tell China to shove it?
The Chinese will get their way because of money, but should they pull out from China altogether because of totalitarianism?