Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo, on Wednesday pushed NBA commissioner Adam Silver to testify before Congress after the league responded to a letter he sent earlier this month regarding the protection of players who publicly criticize the Communist China.
In the letter to Silver, Hawley asked why the league allowed players to wear some political messages on their shirts, while not allowing anything critical of the CCP.
“Vastly missing from the list of approved sentences are in support of the victims of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including the people of Hong Kong, whose remaining freedoms are extinguished by the national security law recently enacted by the CCP,” he wrote. “Given the NBA’s troubled history of apologies and apologies for the brutal crackdown on the Chinese Communist regime, these omissions are surprising. Last October, no doubt you remember, you chose to apologize to the CCP after Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets , spoke on behalf of the Hong Kong protesters.
“After that shameful performance, I encouraged you to reverse course,” Hawley continued. “Instead, you spent the following months deepening the NBA’s ties to the CCP.”
He added: “The league’s new policy suggests a new commitment to better employee expression. But that free expression seems to stop at the limit of corporate sponsors’ sensibilities. And for the wake-up capital today, profits from the Chinese market are more popular. patriotism … If I’m right – if the NBA is more committed to promoting the CCP’s interests than celebrating its home country – your fans deserve to know that’s your point of view. Otherwise, show me that I’m wrong. “
Hawley urged the League to come forward in support of Hong Kong and law enforcement agencies and also asked to include phrases such as “Back the Blue”, “Support our Troops” and “God Bless America”.
SEN. HAWLEY CALLS NBA AND MELA TO BECOME A PART OF THE “CHINESE COMMUNITY PARTY ARM”
He also said that the NBA’s refusal to address these issues “speaks loudly” of their actions and posed several questions for the league, which was expected to be answered by July 29th.
Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum respected Hawley’s schedule, but “would not commit to protecting employees or players who publicly criticize the Chinese Communist Party,” according to the senator.
“@NBA finally replies. I will not criticize #China and will not undertake to protect employees who criticize #China. He says it is” hypothetical “. Do you remember Daryl Morey?” The Missouri Republican tweeted.
In their response, the league said that only a few “social justice messages” are acceptable for players’ shirts. They also supported the idea that any player who would speak against China is a “hypothetical” scenario and therefore cannot be fully addressed.
“The whole letter is a joke,” added Hawley. “Beijing lawyers appear to have drafted it. Maybe it’s time to listen directly to Adam Silver. On Capitol Hill. Under oath.”
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Hawley ended the thread with a link to an ESPN article on the Chinese academies of the NBA – a youth development program – which defined the operation as “offensive” and included quotes from sources claiming that American coaches “were frequently persecuted. and watch yourself in Xinjiang. “
An American coach was reportedly arrested three times without just cause, causing a former employee of the league to compare Xinjiang’s atmosphere to “Germany of World War II”.
Tatum assured that ESPN NBA is “re-evaluating” and “considering other opportunities” for the Academy’s program, which is run by sports facilities managed by the communist government. Last week, the league first recognized that it had closed the Xinjiang Academy, but Tatum declined to say whether it was related to human rights abuses, ESPN reported. “We have been somewhat humiliated,” he said.
Hawley suggested that this be one of the main issues discussed if Silver testifies before Congress.