NBA Quiet on Chinese Slave Labor

The National Basketball Association is remaining quiet on the issue of Chinese slave labor, despite new revelations about the nature and sizeUighur Muslim labor camps.

In 2018, three Uyghur regions alone mobilized at least 570,000 laborers into cotton-picking through the government’s forced labor training and transfer scheme, according to a new Center for Global Policy report.  When BBC reporters tried to visit the region to document its “huge industrial expansion” a number of unmarked cars followed them as they filmed the perimeter of the complex when officials stopped them from filming and they were forced to leave.

“Since the first revelations about the camps, the NBA has not addressed Chinese human-rights violations even as it pursues a social-justice agenda domestically. The league declined to comment when asked about the BBC report,” writes The Washington Free Beacon.

The NBA has billion-dollar deals in China, in 2019 they reaped more than $500 million in Chinese revenue and signed a $1 billion deal with Beijing tech giant Tencent to exclusively stream games in China. NBA China, a separate entertainment arm of the league, was valued at more than $5 billion by one sports consulting firm in 2019.

“While the NBA has publicly supported political expression among progressive players and coaches, it has cracked down on those who criticized China. In 2019, former Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey faced sharp rebuke from his peers for supporting Hong Kong human-rights activists.” the Beacon reported.

According to the Beacon, “other athletes have sacrificed lucrative careers to speak out against the abuse of Chinese dissidents. Famed European soccer players Mesut Özil and Antoine Griezmann have spoken forcefully against human-rights abuses by the Chinese Communist Party. Özil, a German-born, ethnically Turkish Muslim, has lost millions of dollars in endorsement money for criticizing Beijing’s treatment of Uighurs, even being scrubbed from video games sold in China and Chinese internet searches. Griezmann recently severed sponsorship ties with Chinese telecom supergiant Huawei over its role in the regime’s surveillance of Uighurs.”


About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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