Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn pushed for the NBA to create a foundation using some of its profits from China.
Blackburn shared a video Wednesday on Twitter discussing the idea and who the foundation could benefit.
Today, I’m calling on the @NBA to create a foundation and donate a portion of the profits they make from their tight knit relationship with Communist China to support human rights. pic.twitter.com/4zMuC1B6Ea
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) July 29, 2020
“If Adam Silver doesn’t extricate himself from the Chinese Communist Party, then the NBA is going to become the National Beijing Association in about 10 years,” Blackburn said. “Here’s an idea for you. Take a portion of the profits that come from your Chinese involvement, put it into a foundation to support the Uighurs, the Hong Kong freedom fighters and those that have been so persecuted.”
Blackburn has shared her concerns over the league’s Chinese involvement with the NBA in recent weeks. On June 30, Blackburn sent a letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver requesting the NBA terminate ties with a training facility in Xinjiang.
NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum responded to the letter claiming the NBA had shut down the facility a year ago. (RELATED: NBA Says It Has Terminated Relationship With Training Facility In Region Where Uighur Muslims Are Being Held)
Blackburn praised the decision as the “right way” to “condemn Chinese oppression.”
“China is responsible for some of the greatest human rights violations of our time,” Blackburn said in a statement to the Daily Caller. “The NBA’s decision to abandon its footprint in Xinjiang, where millions of Muslim Uyghurs have been brutally confined in ‘reeducation camps,’ is the right way to condemn Chinese oppression and should motivate other American corporations to decry such atrocities. Making money and standing up for human rights should not be mutually exclusive.”
Blackburn further pressed the NBA to consider its financial relationship with Alibaba, China’s biggest online commerce group.
“However, the NBA’s partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba remains a cause for concern, especially as Alibaba affiliate AntPay prepares for an IPO this year on Shanghai’s STAR market,” her statement continued. “Chinese companies are notorious for stealing American intellectual property and technology, and these thefts have cost our businesses billions of dollars in economic losses. The NBA’s continued financial relationship with Alibaba requires a closer look.”