The star of West Wing and The Handmaid’s Tale, Bradley Whitford, pointed to the NBA for its lack of action on the atrocities committed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
The American actor yesterday published a controversial tweet that shook up social networks. In the post, he wrote: “Hey @NBA. Do you care about what’s happening in Hong Kong? Or the fact that the Chinese are building concentration camps for the Uighurs? Or do you only take principled stands if they won’t hurt your bottom line?”.
Hey @NBA. Do you care about what’s happening in Hong Kong? Or the fact that the Chinese are building concentration camps for the Uighurs? Or do you only take principled stands if they won’t hurt your bottom line?
— Bradley Whitford (@BradleyWhitford) July 6, 2020
The root of the conflict began last year when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey expressed his support for protesters in Hong Kong who opposed an undemocratic law proposed by the CCP that would allow Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to mainland China for trial. While the tweet was removed, and he quickly apologized to those who were offended, the tweet undoubtedly generated controversy in China, where basketball is very popular, and several sponsors, leagues, partners, and broadcasting services cut ties with the Rockets and the NBA for the message.
Sportswear brand Li-Ning and Rockets’ sponsor, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPD Bank) Credit Card Center, announced that they would suspend business ties with the team. “We want to express our outrage and strong condemnation … We have already stopped cooperating with the Houston Rockets and continue to urge them to give a clear response on this issue,” Li-Ning said in Weibo, according to FoxNews. Also in retaliation for Morey’s comments, the CCP is no longer allowing broadcasting of NBA games in China, leading to losses of millions for the league.
A few days later, the NBA issued an official statement that was posted on Twitter, where they referred to Morey’s tweet stating that “many of our friends and fans in China were deeply offended, which is regrettable.
China’s response has led the NBA to fight to repair the relationship and recoup lost profits. Last week, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in an interview with TIME magazine that he hoped there could be “mutual respect” between the “values” of the United States and China.
The comments published by actor Bradley Whitford recently came as Hong Kong returned to the front pages of the world’s newspapers after the Chinese regime passed a new security law with similar consequences to the previously proposed bill. The law is criticized for the limitations on freedoms and autonomy promised to the people of Hong Kong.
And in this regard, the NBA continues to be criticized for its refusal to condemn China’s CCP. Where today, there are approximately two million Muslim minorities detained in more than “1,300 concentration camps” in China, according to a report by the U.S. Bipartisan Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Breitbart News has reported that several companies, including Amazon, Apple, Google, Nike, and General Motors have benefited financially from China’s enslavement and forced labor of Muslim minorities. In addition to the atrocities mentioned above, there is the continuing persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners, also known as Falun Gong, an ancient meditation discipline with moral teachings centered on truth, benevolence, and tolerance. Since July 1999, hundreds of thousands of adherents have been thrown into prisons, forced labor camps, and brainwashing centers in the midst of the CCP’s campaign of persecution. Last year an independent People’s Court in London ruled that thousands of Falun Dafa practitioners were being killed by the forced removal of organs for marketing by the CCP.