Sports | October 24, 2019 3:29 pm

Mike Pence Calls NBA a “Subsidiary” of China’s Communist Party

The fallout from Daryl Morey's pro-Hong Kong tweet continues

Mike Pence Calls NBA "Subsidiary" of China's Communist Party
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara. (Stringer/Getty Images)
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Similar to the way his boss has attacked the NFL when it suits his agenda, vice-president Mike Pence decided the time was right for a political strike against the NBA during a Thursday speech at The Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

The NBA, which has been making headlines for two weeks thanks to the fallout from a pro-Hong Kong tweet by a team executive and the league’s subsequent handling of the situation, has been the subject of criticism from other politicians, but this was the first time Pence publicly went after the league.

“Some of the NBA’s biggest players and owners, who routinely exercise their freedom to criticize this country, lose their voices when it comes to the freedom and rights of other peoples,” Pence said in his speech. “In siding with the Chinese Communist Party and silencing free speech, the NBA is acting like a wholly-owned subsidiary of the authoritarian regime.”

Nike, which has strong ties to the NBA as well as deep business interests in China, also found itself in Pence’s crosshairs.

“Nike stores in China actually removed their Houston Rockets merchandise from their shelves to join the Chinese government in protest against the Rockets general manager’s seven-word tweet: ‘Fight for Freedom, stand with Hong Kong,’” Pence said. “Nike promotes itself as a so-called social-justice champion, but when it comes to Hong Kong, it prefers checking its social conscience at the door.”

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