– [Narrator] One tweet is putting at risk the NBA’s multi-billion-dollar
opportunity in China, while upsetting basketball
fans at home and abroad. It was sparked when Houston
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support
for Hong Kong protesters. (crowd chanting) The NBA stands out from
other U.S. companies in that it didn’t kowtow
to China’s pressure, whereas other companies have. – They’ll say, “Sorry,” they’ll express regret at what’s happened. The idea is for them to get their relationships with the Chinese. What’s been interesting with the NBA is this backlash from American consumers has made that much more
difficult for them. – [Narrator] This dilemma
is heightened even more as China could overtake
the U.S. as the world’s largest retail market
as soon as this year. So can U.S. brands reconcile its values and Chinese money?
(camera clicking) The Houston Rockets are one of the most popular NBA teams in China. Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming spent his entire NBA career in Houston. – A lot of American companies have made a really big deal out of
China in the past few years. It’s that sort of premier growth market, it’s where they see a
lot of their expansion in the coming years. – [Narrator] Today, China has 300 million basketball players, nearly as many people
as there are in the U.S. In July, Chinese tech giant Tencent, which is the official
broadcaster of NBA games, paid at least $1.5 billion to extend its streaming deal with the league. The team tried to distance
themselves from Morey, who said he didn’t mean to offend anyone, but the damage was done. Billions of dollars are now at stake. Chinese companies, sponsors, and the Chinese Basketball Association suspended ties with the Rockets. The national TV broadcaster
decided to not air two upcoming NBA games and
said it would reconsider its partnership with the league. – Tencent reported that
490 million Chinese people had watched an NBA
basketball game last year. That’s a huge deal. – [Narrator] The NBA’s initial response called Morey’s tweet regrettable, but that drew swift criticism
from U.S. politicians on both sides of the aisle. (dramatic music) – The usual way that U.S.
companies navigate through, and this is true of companies
outside the U.S. as well, is to give in, effectively. They’ll apologize or back
down in whatever way they can without breaking laws
in their home country. – [Narrator] In June, Nike
withdrew a shoe collection in China after its
codesigner brand supported the Hong Kong protesters’ demand to kill an extradition bill that
sparked the protests. The luxury retailer Tiffany
apologized for a tweet that Chinese netizens
saw as pro-Hong Kong. Covering the right eye has become a symbol of police brutality after a woman was shot
in the eye by police. The NBA took a different stance. – We are not apologizing for Daryl exercising his
freedom of expression. – What they’re facing is the difficulty between their U.S. base of consumers, who don’t really want them to apologize for expressing an opinion on Hong Kong, against their new Chinese consumers. They’ve faced a clash
between the two groups. – [Narrator] The NBA is discovering that it’s impossible to have it both ways. The league’s strong brand in
the U.S. could be tarnished if its executives are seen
to be in Beijing’s pocket. – I think it’s gonna be
completely impossible to avoid these scandals completely. Essentially, it’s balancing the freedom of speech of your employees and the people associated
with your company against what Beijing wants in your fastest-growing growth market. (shoes squeaking)
(people chattering)

Why the NBA Is Facing a Difficult Choice in China | WSJ
Tagged on:                                                                                                                                                 

100 thoughts on “Why the NBA Is Facing a Difficult Choice in China | WSJ

  • October 10, 2019 at 1:43 am
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    it meant NBA in China is totally fxxk up already ! 😎😎

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 1:44 am
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    For a NBA leader, its company making such huge profits in China, openly said he "supports the Hong Kong violent revolution for independence", is as idiotic as a leader of a profitable Chinese Company in the US, saying that he "supports the 911 terrorist attacks". Since NBA has more than 30 years relationship with China, for its leaders to still violate such obvious cultural/geopolitical taboo are simply beyond stupidity. At this stage of the game, none of the above matters any more, because once the NBA was chosen as a counter measure to retaliate US sanctions, perhaps, only by lifting certain US sanctions could end this.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 1:47 am
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    These ignorant and shameless NBA idiots are just pure lying China-haters! However, If they or their family member get burned by a petrol bomb thrown by a Hong Kong rioter and they still say that the thrower is a peacefull human-right demonstrator, then I will also agree with what they lied!

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 1:50 am
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    911=Violence; Support HK black man=suport violence

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  • October 10, 2019 at 1:51 am
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    I think all NBA clubs should cut ties with CBA

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  • October 10, 2019 at 1:52 am
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    you are in trouble

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  • October 10, 2019 at 1:52 am
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    well analysed

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 1:52 am
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    :Money over principle and values
    Seems times have changed so much here in the U.S.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:05 am
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    Chinese people think NBA and rocket didn't respect them. Not the point for freedom of speech.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:06 am
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    Samsung just pulled all of their production out of China.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:08 am
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    to be fair, dmorey tweet just unnecessary and bad timing and bring no good for houston,for nba,for china us relationship,
    for HK. whats the relation between houston and HK anyway ? the tweet just to anger China ? or for sake to get media and people attention ? there is nothing to do with freedom of speech or whatever.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:11 am
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    NBA still doesn’t get it. The up roar has little to do with freedom of speech, but has everything to do with not meddling with another country’s internal affairs. Can you imagine how Americans would react if a senior executive at a large Chinese company (say Alilbaba) were to sent out a tweet saying that gun ownership contributes to mass killings in America?

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:16 am
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    Think about it. We consider this kind of speach as you guys says some thing wrong to black people. Or like you speak something wrong to the king in Thailand. Or like you say something wrong to Allah in Muslims country. Every country have their bottom line. Please respect even you can't understand it. If you touch the bottom line, you are offending us and we would do things to fight back. It's okay to stand with your freedom of speach if you can bear the cost of it. We stand with our national benefit and we are willing to take the cost of it.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:17 am
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    It's hypocrisy…..theer is still freedom of speech as you dont get into prison….but any client nor any partner has the right to terminate the partnership if they are not satisfied with how the other party acts….for example, if one makes an anti-gay remarks, you would definitely lose the support of organizations that are pro-gay…….if one makes an anti-jewish remark, then definitely that organization would lose support from the jewish community

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:19 am
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    Is America supporting the violence happening in Hong Kong? Is America supporting the mobs and rioters in Hong Kong? This question should be asked to these american politicians and heads of organizations.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:19 am
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    Boycott NBA

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:19 am
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    It may backfire and instead make the Chinese NBA loving fans protest against the ban on games on the streets like in Hong Kong.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:22 am
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    China is a totalitarian state with fascist tendencies. Foreigners of good conscience should spurn Chinese hush money.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:26 am
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    Or the American double standard is playing first class. If Morey first told the Jews to stand with nazi. Then tell the blacks to stand with 3k, tell the 9/11 victims to stand with taliban, and then tell me freedom of speech, I applaud him.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:27 am
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    Many Chinese bots commenting and answering each other here. I wonder how they would react if we flooded their internet.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:37 am
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    With six you get eggroll – unless you're Uyghurs (then you get 50 to life).

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:43 am
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    So, you have the right to express your freedom of speech, and we Chinese have the right to resist you. It's all very free. The NBA is like a shop where customers come to spend money and think you have the right to scold customers, right?

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:45 am
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    Support 911 freedom fighters

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:53 am
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    These are the Chinese, 1.4 billions, who object to the tweet, not their government. They are pretty patriotic , Love their country. Don"t look oppressed at all as reported. We are kind of arrogant, trying to impose our idea and system on them ( don't think this is part of democracy ). They are doing the same as we would, if we are being picked on, attacked, unjustifiably. By the way, the girl who hurt her eye in the riot, was the result of her co-protester miss swing shot. They tried to pin that on the police. LOL

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:54 am
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    china is new nazi

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:58 am
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    My friends,Chinese people don't hate free speech,but splittism!just like you guys don't like racialism!

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 2:59 am
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    Why do people like to intervene in other countries?

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  • October 10, 2019 at 3:01 am
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    That’s not pro-HK. That’s pro-violence and anti-Hong Kong police! Many people just don’t understand that pro-violence is a very unpopular thing.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:01 am
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    Steve Kerr ate Chinese tonight…he had Cream of Sum Yung Gai.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:02 am
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    when Freedom touch US bottomline, the American protect the bottomline. When freedom touch other countries' bottomline, the American protect the Freedom.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:04 am
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    When Americans rights get violated, they defend their rights by taking literally any measure (think about what happened in Los Angels protest in 1992)

    But when other countries‘ rights get violated, America and its puppet media just shouting about “freedom of speech”. The last time I saw Americans yelling “freedom” was in Libya and look at what happened.

    Double standards, money oriented propaganda without consideration of disastrous consequences. Shame.

    I am actually glad China banned them, because people need to stay away from toxic groups and learn facts and history, instead of getting fed by flaming tweets and propagandas.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:14 am
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    Can you imagine the storyline if the US Men's Olympic Basketball Team played against China in Tokyo 2020 Olympics? Not the game itself- like come on but the drama surrounding it

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:17 am
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    For all the fking American. If u still don’t know why Chinese are so angry about it. Let me tell u:

    It is not a peaceful protest in HK, just image the protest happened in any state of America, do u guys allow the protesters to destroy the public goods? Shut down the airport? Beats the citizens? And even trying to kill the polices?

    So freedom of speech doesn’t mean u can say sth stupid. Or yea u can say it, and u should be responsible for the outcome.

    “Free Hk, free California, free New York, free Texas.” I get my freedom of speech yea.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:21 am
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    I like American people, they created many interesting video games

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:22 am
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    China’s short fuse and want to control can’t possibly be related to them having small penises can it

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:23 am
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    Again simple. You have freedom of speech. CHINESE have FREEDOM on how they want to spend their MONEY .
    Americans: "WE WANT YOUR MONEY BUT WE ALSO SUPPORT RIOTS TO OVERTHROW YOUR GOVERNMENT"

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:25 am
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    The right thing to do is support freedom, democracy and freedom of speech not to bow to a dictatorial regime such as the Communist Party of China . Marcus from Sydney Australia

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:28 am
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    In April 2014, Sterling was banned from the NBA for life and fined $2.5 million by the league after private recordings of him making racist comments were made public.[2] In May, Sterling's wife Shelly reached an agreement for the Sterling Family Trust to sell the Clippers for $2 billion to Steve Ballmer, which Sterling contested in court. The NBA Board of Governors approved the sale of the Clippers to Ballmer on August 12, 2014.[3][4] Sterling settled his lawsuit against the NBA in November 2016[5] and remains active in Los Angeles real estate.[6]

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:28 am
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    The correct name should be The Moron

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:37 am
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    Why your media always ignore the fact that their violence, and the missing eye girl were shot by the protesters themselves, it is never been proved shot by the police

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:38 am
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    As a Chinese, I'd say free Pueto Rico, Guan, before you talk about hongkong.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:39 am
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    Chocking and unacceptable, you show clips of only when protests have been peaceful here in Hong Kong, but completely fail to show that nearly all time during over four months they have each erupted into brutally violent protests fuelled by hatred and totalitarian views discriminating all other views and attacks, bullying, beatings, vandalism, brutal attacks in name of "freedom of speech" including brutal attacks with petrol bombs, steel sticks, bricks and other weaponry onto police??? As if America would at all accept any such to occur? No, in these manners Hong Kong have more freedom and too much freedom. Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRLLW0BSa84
    America need to wake up and do business and politics well informed on what is situation and culture values in other countries!

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:44 am
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    Is it wrong to apologize? Only in the usa

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:48 am
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    not beijing wants, but people in china wants…correct your narratives., you are trying to insert biase into audience's

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:59 am
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    Its called respect the market. Pretty basic free market capitalism game. The market in China donest want your foreign support in their own affair. Simple

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 4:01 am
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    Man nba should exit from China . Because you can't earn money for the exchange.of human rights

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 4:04 am
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    The world needs to see that this is how China acts – completely childishly and oversensitively…all it takes is one tweet for it to break business relationships and stamp its feet. That is how insecure China is.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 4:10 am
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    You freedom of speech to support the HK riot, my 🇨🇳 freedom to cancel all that deals

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 4:10 am
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    Making fun of Chinese territory is like publicly being a racist in the United States

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 4:12 am
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    Good job done by commissioner of nba

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 4:14 am
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    "Free speech" " 911"

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 4:16 am
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    The butterfly effect explained: a hongkong citizen killed his pregnant girlfriend in Taiwan causes China stop NBA broadcast

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 4:17 am
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    We dont want to talk about race in the United States, we don't want to talk about division in China. Just like we don't want to tell a joke in your family funeral. This common sense Americans need to understand.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 4:25 am
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    Why?
    Because the democrats are working on Trump & democratic Daryl Morey wants to enter politics. Nobody cares about NBA or China or Hongkong or US people. So shameless and selfish.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 4:37 am
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    Nothing difficult at all just quit and disengage. Period

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  • October 10, 2019 at 4:37 am
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRLLW0BSa84 It's always good to understand the situation before you express your opinion.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 4:45 am
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    If Yao says he supports 911 in the U.S. Will you respect his freedom of speech?

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 4:46 am
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    they dont know how British got HK in the first place. the chinese view this differently. it has nothing to do with freedom of speech.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 4:48 am
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    There were a lot people in China used be big fan of NBA. The fans are very disappointed and angry, not just the government of China. To defend your freedom of speech is not a problem. People have freedom to walk away From something they feel poison

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  • October 10, 2019 at 4:49 am
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    The us people are famous for playing "Double Standard" games.

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  • October 10, 2019 at 4:49 am
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    Sterling‘s opinion=racist and be forced to sell the Clippers / Daryl Morey's opinion=freedom of expression 😂

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 4:51 am
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    Money doesn't stink

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 4:57 am
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    China bans some USA nba games to air in their country just because we spoke our mind and many China dickriders still claim USA is fascist and has no freedom look at china😂😂

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 4:58 am
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    In China's thousands of years of culture, unity is the greatest "political correctness" in our culture. We have suffered too much humiliation from the fragile hours of division. If you want to make money here, please respect us first.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 5:05 am
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    What are these US brands "Values" that kicked a blackman of the curb for taking a knee (freedom of expression) protesting the brutality black people face in the US law enforcement? Weird charity begins at home

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 5:12 am
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    But can China really let go of the NBA though. Basketball is huuuuge here

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 5:23 am
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    The NBA is done in my house. My grandfathers didn't fight and bleed so our companies could sell our birthright.

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  • October 10, 2019 at 5:24 am
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    This is the danger and power of China. Everybody has to think the same and publicly say the same. Corporate greed on the othet hand has to decide whether they believe in any principles…

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 5:24 am
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    U have freedom of speech, but u don't have freedom of consequences. U can say what u want to say, then take the consequences. It's fair. In the United States, you have no right to publish racist speech. In China, you have no right to publish statements that divide the country.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 5:26 am
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    Comments full of Chinese trolls, the 50 cent army

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 5:31 am
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    Looks like Americans would welcome he freedom of speech if Jack Ma tweet something “I support 911 attack!” “Stand with Ben Ladin”

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 5:35 am
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    The key problem is that the us medias just showed partial situation in HK. Most of the American people don’t know what really happened in HK at all. None of the us media showed how the thugs beat the ordinary people, attacked hk police, ruined the infrastructure of HK. The medias just showed peaceful demonstrations, why don’t they show the violent ones? Find out the answers, then you can understand why Chinese are so angry at NBA.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 5:36 am
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    Fight for freedom ,Stand with California
    Fight for freedom ,Stand with Indiana
    Fight for freedom ,Stand with New York
    Fight for freedom ,Stand with Texas
    Fight for freedom ,Stand with Scotland

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 5:37 am
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    Lol,Pathetic American see hongkong protestors but not kashmiris !

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 5:41 am
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    Daryl Morey is free to tweet whatever he wants about HK but China is also free to cut ties with the Houston Rockets. China doesnt want The Rockets to make money off of China and have Morey criticise China at the same time. They are making the Rockets pick and they shold have the right to do that. Also, freedom of speech only protects you from government censorship, not from your employer. At work you dont have freedom of speech. Openly criticise your employers upper management or customers and you get fired. Loads of ppl have been fired for posting stuff online. You cant just claim freedom of speech and expect to say whatever you want and be freed from all consequences.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 5:44 am
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    The world will be more peaceful, freedom and happiness without a communists. Freedom for Hong Kong peoples.

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  • October 10, 2019 at 5:48 am
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    Um… it's not that difficult at all. Integrity over money, all day and everyday. It's not that hard.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 5:49 am
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    It's not about what Beijing wants…you're promoting the separatists movement in HK… it's like Jack ma saying he supports Texas independence… get it? morons???

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 5:50 am
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    Huawei had not done anything and the US ban it. Now tell me the reason.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 5:51 am
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    The NBA has to decide what they value and support most: human freedoms or Chinese profit. I personally believe that it is immoral to pursue profit at the expense of human freedom and well-being. So, those companies that put Chinese profit above liberty and well-being are companies that I will not support financially.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 5:53 am
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    For Americans, it should not be a tough choice. Freedom of speech is what we bring to light in the world. It’s what has lead to our economic success, because we have the freedom to express our ideas in the market. China just copies. If we cave to China, in a short period of time, mark my words, we will be no different. Corporations lose sight of how much money they have and how they can use the power it gives them. Once again, the powerful think they are weak and are afraid of “ losing” so they cave. Hide your light under a bushel basket and forget that it makes a difference.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 5:59 am
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    How about Boeing's Blatant profitable over Human safety? Why I don't see US senators commenting this when human safety is number 1 priority?

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 6:06 am
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    Trump keeps protecting MBS.
    Trump sold Kurdish allies.
    Trump, ready to sell Hongkong protester for a right price.

    Don't blame those businesses!

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 6:14 am
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    Either you are for freedom or you are not. It's not difficult.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 6:15 am
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    NBA export American culture and value to China and get paid billions of dollars. Its good for culture influence, good for the sport industry . Even you want to feed your enemy poison food, you don't make it taste awful, I don't understand the logic here, destroy American industry by saving Chinese money

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 6:17 am
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    it also shows the learning curve of the west.

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  • October 10, 2019 at 6:18 am
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    using the economic power is a trick that learnt from U.S

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  • October 10, 2019 at 6:20 am
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    If I'm invested in NBA, I will want nothing to do with HK. Support HK democracy is ok so long as it doesn't affect my pocketbook. You have an issue with China, that's YOUR problem.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 6:22 am
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    .Fight for freedom.. Free Hongkong..

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  • October 10, 2019 at 6:24 am
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    Hope they know how to make fire sticks 😂😂

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  • October 10, 2019 at 6:24 am
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    Fight for money !!! Stand with CHINA !!!

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  • October 10, 2019 at 6:32 am
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    lust for money is the downfall of all businessman – sell your soul to the devil – all principles gone – NBA – stand up for the youth and stand up for the right principles – do not cower to the might of this malignant regime – the eyes of the world are looking at you – shame on corporate America to fail on this

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 6:36 am
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    Why no one relate this to the huawei ban.by the Way the girl got shot at the eye by police is fake news.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 6:55 am
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    The Chinese had KOWTOW to the WHITES for over 150 Years.
    This incident is not kowtow, it is lack of respect to China.
    Supporting terrorists rioters against China sovereignty rights IS NOT a freedom of expression.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 6:57 am
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    300m basketball players all hoping to be in the NBA, what irony – all eyes on you NBA – do the right thing and not cower to the almighty CCP – do not sell your soul to a "malignant entity"

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 7:03 am
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    USA is no bastion of free speech. They rank 17th on the Human Freedom Index. Also free speech requires a heightened awareness not to just spout rubbish. There is a huge difference.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 7:05 am
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    Chinese are making me so angry 😤 I hope they never get to watch NBA ever again

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 7:09 am
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    lol americans talking about supporting HuMan Rights? how about apple's Chinese factories that seems to be abusing worker rights? Apple knows the poor condition but ignores it cause its still cheaper to manufacture there, and surprise surprise, American consumer still seem to be buying and supporting apple. double standard much?

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 7:15 am
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    Defense of freedom! Hey! Hey!
    I support the independence of American States! Support the Indians in taking back their land! 911 is a national holy war, great creation! Bin Laden and al-Qaeda are great freedom fighters! Support for Snowden, Assange, they are heroes who are not afraid of power! America fights for freedom. It's a beautiful sight!
    That's what I call freedom for the NBA, Southern Park, Apple!

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 7:17 am
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    Actually we can talk much freely in China. We blame our citizens who behave badly outside of our country. Many of them are not well educated since schools have been shut down for 10years by the culture revolution. We blame our government who spent too much money in North Korea and Africa. But, to separate our country is absolutely not tolerated. We took it back from "Great" Britan after 99years waiting. They are not Chinese, mostly offsprings of Vietnam and Philippines. They are overprotected! Maybe you guys may ask why China do not accept refugees. Why should we do it? It's funny that in Germany for example it took 10years discussion to build a new way(in China maybe 1days decision),as for accepting refugees took they 1second. They didn't even ask their people for this. Maybe in 20or 30years there are roits in Germany or Sweden to free "their"country!

    Reply

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