All of the NBA’s official partner companies in China have suspended their relationships with the league in the wake of its much-criticized decision to censor a team manager for tweeting support to pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
The NBA had official partnerships with 11 Chinese companies, including CTrip, the country’s largest travel agency, and the fast-food chain Dicos, CNN reported Wednesday. The suspensions come amid uproar from Americans against the NBA and other companies that have self-censored their products and otherwise subjected themselves to demands of communist China. (RELATED: NBA’s Surrender To China Shows Money Talks Louder Than Social Justice)
“It is inevitable that people around the world — including from America and China — will have different viewpoints over different issues,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in the statement. “It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences.”
The NBA’s response ignited a firestorm of backlash against dozens of companies that have dealings in China, including videogame giant Activision-Blizzard, which banned a prominent player from competing for a year for showing solidarity with Hong Kong protesters. (RELATED: ESPN Not Interested In Getting Involved In NBA-China Fued)
Recognize what’s happening here. People who don’t live in #China must either self censor or face dismissal & suspensions. China using access to market as leverage to crush free speech globally. Implications of this will be felt long after everyone in U.S. politics today is gone. https://t.co/Cx3tkWc7r6
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 8, 2019
Other examples include MGM Studios digitally altering the 2012 remake of “Red Dawn” to portray the forces invading the United States as North Korean instead of Chinese, Paramount Pictures removing the Taiwanese flag from Maverick’s bomber jacket in the upcoming Top Gun movie, and dozens of others.