A tweet rekindles the tension between China and the NBA

A new tension breaks the fine line between the NBA and China. This Thursday, the Asian country has decided to cut the broadcasts of the matches of Boston Celtics within its territory, after the player One’s Edges described Chinese President Xi Jinping as a “brutal dictator” on social media, alluding to his repressive policies in Tibet.

In accordance with New York Times, the platform Tencent, in charge of transmitting the NBA in China, has stopped offering the games of the Celtics As a result of this comment, which has sparked the tension that began two years ago, when Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets At the time, he tweeted (and then quickly deleted), his support for political protesters in Hong Kong.

At other times the player of the Celtics he has expressed his political views. In January 2019, the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office requested the United States to extradite the pivot, accused of links to a terrorist organization, following his comments against the Turkish president’s regime, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Consequently, the NBA games in which Kanter appears are not televised in Turkey, says the newspaper EL PAÍS.

The NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, has emphasized his interest in restoring business between the league and China, not only for his own income, but also to use sport as a “gateway” of communication between the United States and some territories with different political schemes.

“As the years have passed, the NBA has increased its presence in China, but always, until very recent history, at the encouragement of the State Department, of various administrations, again, on both sides of the aisle. It has been seen as something really positive that we are exporting American values ​​to China through the NBA, ”said Silver prior to the start of the 2021-22 season.

The Daryl Morey event in 2019 caused a blackout for the league in the world’s most populous nation, but games finally returned to Tencent in 2020, but not to the Chinese state television (CCTV) provider, save for two games during the NBA Finals in 2020.

After Morey’s tweet, the consequences were immense and the sponsors, following the example of CCTV, withdrew their support for the preseason games that were held in China in 2019 between the Lakers and Nets. The NBA estimated that the strained relationship with the Chinese and the loss of broadcast rights meant the league lost about $ 400 million in revenue during the 2019-20 season alone.

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