EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Blackburn To Release Interview With Former NBA Player Royce White About China’s Treatment Of Uyghurs

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn will release a video interview Thursday with former NBA player Royce White to discuss China’s oppression of Uyghur Muslims.

The Daily Caller first obtained the video where Blackburn talks to White about the treatment of the Uyghurs and the reported forced labor that goes on in China. The NBA announced in July of 202o that it terminated its relationship with a league-run training academy in Xinjiang, China, which is the region where around one million Uyghurs are reportedly being held in concentration camps.

White, the former Houston Rockets first-round pick, brought a “Free the Uyghurs” shirt to a Big 3 basketball game earlier in July and has continued to raise awareness about the treatment of Uyghurs in China on social media. His current profile picture on Twitter also reads “Free the Uyghurs.”

In the interview, which is for her Facebook TV show called “Unmuted With Marsha,” White shared his beliefs about what is going on in China and called out the NBA, saying they are undermining humanitarian efforts.

“First, I wanna say that I think the situation with the Uyghurs is an atrocity first and foremost, you know, and it also is a litmus test for coherence in our ideas about justice and so, you know. For me, as an athlete, as an American, as a black man, there are a great deal of political issues on our table across the board that involves a number of different agendas and interests. But it seems very clear that from Wall Street to Silicon Valley, from Washington, DC to Hollywood, we’ve capitulated to China, and we’ve done so in pursuit of their blood money, and it has left our economy weak and unstable, and it’s also left our morality in a tailspin,” White said to Blackburn during the interview.


“It’s outright corrupt, you know, for an organization that champions human rights initiative so much, it really is a sign of decadence and a real undermining of humanitarian efforts by and large in the most general sense, when you have outright apologized to China publicly, as people within the organization spoke out against China. You know, the tell-tale signs of leadership and truth in this day and age are the people who are gonna put themselves in immediate harm’s way in the interest of justice and freedom, and all the ideas we say we value,” White continued.

Blackburn received a response from the NBA in a letter in July 2020 that was made public after inquiring about the treatment of Uyghurs. In it, NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum said they have not had any involvement with the Xinjiang basketball academy for over a year. (RELATED: NBA Says It Has Terminated Relationship With Training Facility In Region Where Uighur Muslims Are Being Held)

“The NBA has had no involvement with the Xinjiang basketball academy for more than a year, and the relationship has been terminated,” Tatum said in the letter to Blackburn. (RELATED: Former NBA Player Royce White Raises Awareness Of China’s Oppression Of The Uyghurs)

Despite the response from the NBA, Blackburn slammed the organization in a statement to the Daily Caller.

“The Chinese Communist Party is a brutal and repressive regime. Over one million Uyghurs are being held in forced concentration camps by Beijing solely because they are Muslim. The NBA, better known as the National Beijing Association, has created a false purist of social justice at home while they kowtow to the CCP to profit from their blood money,” Blackburn said.

“Royce is one of the few professional basketball players that is not afraid to stand up to Adam Silver and Communist China. It’s time for folks like LeBron James to educate themselves and join our fight to protect the Uyghurs,” she added.