Published: Thu, October 10, 2019

NBA Rockets into Challenge with China

NBA Rockets into Challenge with China

Silver added later: "It is inevitable that people around the world-including from America and China-will have different viewpoints over different issues".

"If Silver thinks endorsing the indiscriminate violence the radical Hong Kong protesters are resorting to ... is supporting freedom of expression, then he should think again", it said. One user, @JonSchweppe, shared videos of security confiscating signs that said "Free Hong King" and "Google Uyghurs" - reference to Beijing's crackdown and detention of up to one million members of the Muslim minority group in China's Xinjiang region.

The NBA has built a lucrative Chinese fanbase, thanks in part to the popularity of former Rockets centre Yao Ming. The government also said that Rockets games would no longer be televised.

The Shanghai Sports Federation said the cancellation of the fan event ahead of Thursday's game between the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers was due to the "inappropriate attitude" of Morey and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

The basketball furore also comes against the backdrop of the US-China trade war, which escalated after Washington imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials on Tuesday.

It cited Morey's "inappropriate statement" and Silver's "inappropriate position" for the cancellation. And Chinese companies like apparel giant Li-Ning and Vivo, a smartphone maker that was going to be a sponsor of the Lakers-Nets games, have suspended their business dealings with the National Basketball Association.

The Wizards said building security did not ask any fan to leave but only "removed signs tonight in accordance with Capital One Arena's long-standing signs, banners, posters and flag policy". "It was really disappointing and something I felt I couldn't ignore", he said.


Suspend NBA activities in China until government-controlled broadcasters and government-controlled commercial sponsors end their boycott of NBA activities and the selective treatment of the Houston Rockets, and emphasize that the association will stand unified in the face of future efforts by Chinese government-controlled entities to single out individual teams, players, or associates for boycotts or selective treatment.

The protests were sparked by opposition to a law allowing extradition to mainland China, but have since evolved into broader calls for democracy.

Gillespie, who played in the NBA's developmental league as well as in leagues around the world, defended the National Basketball Association and argued that China is trying to gain leverage in future negotiations. He said he hopes Chinese officials and fans look at the totality of the impact of the three-decade-plus relationship between the league and their country, and urged them to see his response while acknowledging there are political differences between the countries.

Tech giant Apple, which has a huge presence in China, on Wednesday became the latest target.

No one has been killed in several months of protests in Hong Kong, although scores - mostly protesters and journalists - have been hurt. "Does this mean Apple intended to be an accomplice to the rioters?"

Efforts were quickly made to defuse the impact; Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said Morey does not speak for the Rockets, and Morey returned to Twitter on Monday in an effort to clarify his meaning.

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