Published: Wed, October 09, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Trust the Totalitarian Process? 76ers Eject Fans Supporting Hong Kong Protestors

Trust the Totalitarian Process? 76ers Eject Fans Supporting Hong Kong Protestors

The backlash has intensified after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver defended Morey's right to free speech.

And while the tweet was quickly deleted, the reaction from China has been swift and severe, with the Rockets going from one of the country's favorite teams to a blacklisted one nearly overnight.

While some NBA coaches choose to stay silent on the NBA-China issue, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich - one never afraid to voice his opinion on political issues - gave his unwavering support to NBA commissioner Adam Silver amid the escalating rift between the NBA and China.

Additionally, the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets were scheduled to play Thursday in Shanghai and Saturday in Shenzhen.

The NBA's account is followed by almost 42 million people on leading Chinese platform Weibo, while the most popular American team in China - the Golden State Warriors - has more than 8.5 million followers.

While the Houston Rockets may have been a fan-favorite in China due to the eight seasons Shanghai-born former NBA All-Star Yao Ming played with the team, Ross said Morey's tweet has ruined the Rockets' standing, and the team name "is now dirt". A trade war is exacerbating a slowdown in its $13.6 trillion economy, while pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are raising questions about its ability to control the semi-autonomous territory.

The Rockets have always been one of the most popular NBA teams in China - mainly because Chinese basketball star Yao Ming played for them from 2002-2011.

Yao's tenure as a Rocket made the team one of the most popular franchises in China and it seems insane a single tweet could undermine that until you realize that the Chinese government, a brutal communist regime that routinely cracks down on dissidents, considers Hong Kong protestors to be separatists.

Korean Fishermen After Boat Collision
The Fisheries Agency patrol boats send warnings to such boats through water cannons or electronic signs, according to Kuwahara. Boats have also washed up on Japanese shores with the crew on board dead - referred to as "ghost ships " by local media.

"We believe any remarks that challenge national sovereignty and social stability do not belong to the category of free speech", CCTV Sports said in a statement.

"When it comes to basketball in China, it's just the NBA", said Mark Dreyer, who runs the China Sports Insider website.

The fallout from Morey's tweet has been grabbing headlines for days.

"It is inevitable that people around the world - including from America and China - will have different viewpoints over different issues", he said in a statement. It matters who you do business with.

Smartphone maker Vivo said it was pulling out, while Master Kong, a maker of instant noodles and beverages, said it ended all NBA-linked marketing activities.

The NBA has spent years and many millions of dollars investing in China, helping to build courts, giving broadcasting rights away for free and bringing its stars over for preseason games.

So, again, was this a case of the Sixers enforcing a neutral policy or are Hong Kong supporters being singled out for special suppression?

The NBA's woes in China also revive memories of the wrath faced a few years ago by brands from Hyundai Motor Amorepacific Corp., which saw their sales plunge from a boycott.

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