Adam Silver Commits to Free Speech as Chinese Companies Cut Ties With N.B.A.

China’s state-run television canceled broadcasts of two preseason games scheduled to be held in the country this week.

Comments: 201

  1. The fact that the Chinese are incensed over Morey's comments and the NBA's response demonstrates that they refuse to accept that freedom of speech is a fundamental tenant of our belief system. Their attempt to stifle free speech in the US through economic blackmail is appalling, but that is how the Chinese operate. Through oppression of speech, cultures and freedoms.

  2. Kudos to the Commissioner. Finally someone is willing to stand up for right over wrong in this current climate that accepts "looking the other way."

  3. @Mark Nothing new here. They were squelching freedom of speech in universities twenty years ago—and universities gave in. A nation can not be cowards and be free and modern institutions cultivate and elevate cowardice.

  4. @Mark When we talk about ethics and values we would do well to refer to the Chinese government as China and not Chinese. Hong Kongers are also Chinese. The term is a big umbrella.

  5. You would think that China would abide by the maxim, "pick your battle." They either thought that the NBA would capitulate very easily (as it first seemed like they would) or it's part of China's larger effort to bolster their own league and economy over the Americans. Either way, it should clearly indicate that the Chinese economy will never be truly open to the west--the Chinese government's hand will always be in the mix.

  6. @Dominik The strategy of picking your battles doesn't work here. Once you let one company get away with "insulting" your country, you leave the crack open for all to do that. It's all or nothing, and that strategy has worked for China very well.

  7. @Dominik Is the west truly open to China?

  8. @Dominik "the Chinese government's hand will always be in the mix." And very much in the till.

  9. The statement of the Chinese gov't that “We believe that no comments challenging national sovereignty and social stability fall within the scope of freedom of expression” really should surprise no one. In fact it can almost be believed to originate from our nation in the current political climate. Of course, the bigger question is, how much money does the NBA need? All these teams seem to be above anything that actual people in this country do. It doesn't matter if they win or lose, if stadiums are empty or full, they all get their boatloads of money shoveled in, how much more can they possibly want? Is this worth the lack of respect they are developing for themselves?

  10. @David Shaw Sorry David. Your statement about how this is reflected in the US is up against the daily deluge of criticisms levelled at Trump. He shrugs it off. Has never said he wants to ban your free speech.

  11. So proud of silver and the nba. They decided to actually stand by their stated values. The nba just gave up millions or billions of dollars for the short term to do the right thing. I hope this is the start of a trend

  12. Silver has issued two conflicting statements. He didn’t count on the criticism of the first statement.

  13. @Shamrock The outburst of criticism made him realize he made the wrong choice and he corrected himself. I find this admirable.

  14. I disagree. Silver told the Chinese ‘Sorry you’re offended, but we don’t tell our employees what they can and cannot say.’ Thats in line with his subsequent statements.

  15. The NBA-China partnership is a two-way street, just like any producer-consumer relationship. The NBA's popularity is precisely what gives it leverage, if it cared to use it. China needs marquee brands just as much as the marquee brands need China. The CCP promised the people first-world luxury in exchange for political acquiescence. Lose the NBA, Dolce&Gabbana and Apple and the deal is off. None of those fashionable young women and men are going back to their Mao jackets. Not without a fight. The US market is still more profitable to the NBA than the Chinese market. As Americans, we can leverage our own influence. Boycott the NBA season, and let them decide which country they prefer.

  16. Happy to see Adam Silver supporting free speech and democracy. Was shocked and saddened to see the initial NBA response and thought it didn't sound like the NBA run by Silver. We'll see where this goes but Silver seems set to let the chips fall where they may.

  17. Where is Donald Trump? Your president talks a good game, but he is just like any other cowering capitalist who fears losing the opportunity to enhance an already obscene amount of wealth.

  18. Amazing the difference in treatment by the NBA of criticism of the American Administration and the Chinese Administration. Couldn’t be more clear.

  19. How thin skinned does a country have to be to nuke a massive partnership over a small comment by a GM of one basketball team. How do you do business with a country that acts this way? China is hurting themselves and looks foolish in the process. Yes our greedy little billionaire class are groveling at Xi for forgiveness but it will unsustainable in the long run, especially if Chinas growth slows down.

  20. There should be no commerce between China and the United States. China is the biggest source of economic instability in the United States now bleeding into social instability. They do not share our values whatsoever and their culture is pure poison to the West. In fact, Chinese were not even allowed into America for decades under the Chinese Exclusion Act. Bring it back!

  21. @Andy The Chinese Exclusion Act was one of the worst policies we ever implemented and led to serious racial strife in the Western States against many Chinese who had done nothing wrong. Indeed, their descendants are still here -- do you have an objection to some Chinese-American colleague who works in your office or whose kids attend your children's school? I always have thought that the experience of Chinese immigrants to America was a perfect case in point as to how misguided so much of the current anti--immigration rhetoric is. You know the stuff …. “they will never assimilate” “their culture is too different from our own” “they bring in crime, they depress wages”, etc. The same rhetoric was thrown at Chinese immigrants over a hundred years ago – yet look today at who their Chinese descendants are. They are as American as anyone else. No Tong Wars, no opium dens, no white slavery … all of that nonsense turned out to be false.

  22. My hat is off to the NBA, standing up for freedom of speech. China will eventually find out that the world will not stand for its pressure tactics intended to stifle criticisms of their revolting and ultimately doomed one-party political regime model.

  23. Would it really be the end of the world if for once people stood up for American values?

  24. Americans should stand up to American values (whatever is meant by that is another subject matter), however why do we think our values are correct for all others around the world, especially in light of the political climate change since 2016 when half the population here rarely can agree on a political or social issue?

  25. @MDCooks8 We have our problems, and I foresee some "whataboutism" in response to this, but...I think most Americans can agree that China imprisoning a million Uighurs because they're Muslims, fostering a stifling cult of personality around their leader by doing stuff like banning Winnie the Pooh after Xi Jinping was compared to him, and threatening the independence of Hong Kong's judiciary and government by ignoring the "two systems" part of their bargain, are bad things that are opposed to the mythical "American Values" that yes, we should continue to strive for.

  26. @Sos Yes, it would literally be the end of the world, as we’re seeing it today in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Haiti, etc.

  27. Read this quote: “We believe that no comments challenging national sovereignty and social stability fall within the scope of freedom of expression.” And tell me how the US is going to participate in the 2020 Winter Olympics hosted by Beijing. Will our athletes be able to comment on Tienanmen Square, Hong Kong or Taiwan? What will the position be of NBC and the US Olympic Committee?

  28. The Beijing Olympics are in 2022, but your point is a good one.

  29. @Carden You can be assured that the utterly craven Intl Olympic Committee will cave immediately - as they have every single time in the past when faced with similar circumstances.

  30. @Carden Sadly, the free world overlooked many human rights violations etc during the 2008 Olympics.

  31. Mr. Morey's right of "Free Speech" were not impinged upon. There seems to be some confusion about "Free Speech" even in America. Yes, you can say what you wish BUT there is not guarantee that you will not suffer a negative consequence because of your statement. You can be fired from your job, you can be refused service, you can be sued for defamation or libel. Free Speech is a guarantee that our government can not stifle debate but does not stop businesses from retaliating against an employee or even a customer. Whatever Morey's thoughts may be about Hong Kong it is China's problem and the issues there reflect the untenable "one country, two systems" approach is long term.

  32. @Carl Moyer It still very much remains a "Free Speech" issue. No one said his Constitutional rights were impinged upon, which is where your analysis is lacking. Private businesses and entities are still free to respect and uphold those Constitutional values.

  33. @Carl Moyer Actually, you are wrong in most states. Most states protect employees from being fired for things that are against "public policy" (called common law retaliatory discharge). An employee who, for example, bad mouths Trump on his own time, or rights op-ed opinions to the local paper that his employer does not like, is protected (in most states) from being fired for his "free speech" (this is to be contrasted with violating an employers limitation on speech in the work place).

  34. @Carl Moyer if you want to do business with China, you are tacitly participating in their massive human rights abuses. You can't separate the money from the message. Don't be naive.

  35. The idea that “challenges to sovereignty and social stability” fall outside freedom of expression is nice way of saying you cannot criticize the government. If you cannot criticize the government, there is no freedom of expression. Thanks for clarifying, China.

  36. @Henry Yes and no. As China uses it, your interpretation is pretty accurate. However, Germany does have laws prohibiting calls to overthrow the state, which are part of the legacy of WWII. The Germans are as protective of speech as we are, they just have a different process and expectations of what that looks like.

  37. @RMurphy >Germany does have laws prohibiting calls to overthrow the state >Germans are as protective of speech as we are Pick one. Because criticizing the people in charge and demanding change to the status quo seems like a pretty essential element of anything that could be remotely said to resemble freedom of expression.

  38. Put your money on China in this one. The league that stood up to North Carolina over gender specific bathrooms (and maybe a few thousand fans who noticed) will be against Hong Kong in a jiffy, because that’s where the money is. Liberals will turn the other way too. So predictable.

  39. @HENRY So, in other words, because the NBA fearlessly stood down the State of North Carolina over its discriminatory policy and made it change, it therefore will be spineless and prostrate itself before China. OK ....

  40. @HENRY "Liberals will turn the other way too." Wha? Where'd *that* come from?

  41. Cultural sensitivity is very important for any country seeking legitimacy as a world leader. While the Chinese government is free to believe that “no comments challenging national sovereignty and social stability fall within the scope of freedom of expression”, that’s not how things work in America. We’ve actually written this stuff down, in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Copies are available free online for our Chinese friends to study.

  42. This form of blackmail by the Chinese cannot be tolerated. The NBA makes plenty of bucks (Milwaukee not withstanding) as is, and Chinese basketball needs the NBA more than the NBA needs China (unless greed is the only criteria in the NBA). The social justice and equality programs espoused by the NBA are hollow if they are abandoned the minute a few renminbi are at risk. Put an embargo on all NBA paraphernalia being sent to China, including anything of Yao Ming. The biggest selling items there would be of superstars, and if these guys can't take that relatively trivial hit on their income for the principles involved, then the NBA doesn't stand for much of anything worth caring about.

  43. Doing the right thing is it’s own reward. I fully support the NBA. China may be an ancient culture, but they still have a lot to learn. It’s odd to see the phrase “freedom of expression” emerge from their official communications. I guess the meaning got lost in translation.

  44. The NBA is doing the right thing. If China wants to deny its people the professionalism and excitement of the best basketball players in the world, it's their loss.

  45. @HKGuy Market is always there, nba leaves, fifa comes in. No matter u like it or not, that’s economy. Btw there are way more interesting stuff other than nba. Ppl love basketball, not nba.

  46. @Chibss People who love basketball want to see the NBA, just as people who love musical theater want to see shows on Broadway.

  47. In normal times this would have just blown over. However with the heightened sensitivities due to the trade war, China will be looking for any excuse to retaliate against the sanctions on Huawei, Hikvision etc. NBA is an easy target because they generate a lot of revenue in China for content they already have and the audience can access it one way or another. With the NBA on the ice there, the revenue will just go elsewhere and likely stay within China.

  48. @Sean So, all that matters to you is revenue?

  49. I think it is a good thing if a society which has, apparently, since the beginning of time, been utterly invested in very strong authoritarian ways, can at least potentially see how a society with at least a documented goal of things like, freedom of speech, the right of assembly, the right to due process, may play out. In USA I think we are currently at a low point regarding the real quality of these protections. These protections and freedoms are messy. They can be inconvenient. They can be irksome, and probably worse. These freedoms and protections are completely human. They can be completely wonderful.

  50. Once the NBA went all China without conditions, it can’t have one of their own biting the hand that feeds. Besides it is well known that big corporations opt to stay away from social and political issues if it hurts their bottom line. This is not a free speech issue. An NBA partner dropped the ball and the league has been exposed for what it is, a business, not a political entity.

  51. Kudos to NBA commissioner Adam Silver for supporting the Freedom of Speech rights of Daryl Morey. I have several very close friends and business associates from mainland China and Hong Kong. Privately we all hope that the Hong Kong protests should turn into an inflection point for China’s politics. However, we also know that the chances are very slim because we remember that nothing really happened after the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Economic strength based totalitarian regimes tend to prevail over human rights - alas, nobody cares.

  52. I care. I care and not only because I am aware of what it is like to live in constant fear of a type of dictatorship that has no compunction not to kill anyone who gets in their way, and how hard it is to stand up after all power to protest is gone. I care. Alas, I have no power.

  53. the chinese have the right to react however they choose to comments by foreign people. american's have the right to speak out as they see fit. the problem is that the nba and the houston rockets may miss some of the money from china. the nba will ask for more tax breaks which means flood mitigation projects lose money. as the federal government borrows money for disaster relief it becomes my problem.

  54. This city made Yao Ming a wealthy man. Even wealthier once Yao returned to China. He's president of the CBA, bottles his own wine (for a hefty price), has restaurants, etc. He looks very small today based on his reaction to Morey's remarks. In fact, the Chinese have created a greater focus on Morey's tweet than it would have gotten and probably garnered more sympathy for the plight of Hong Kong as a result.

  55. I’m not sure what all the criticism of Silver is about. He’s made it perfectly clear that the NBA has no intention of policing it’s employees’ speech. The NFL (and its supporters) could lead a thing or two from the NBA.

  56. @Carrie Agreed. More and more I see the NBA as much more embodying the ideals of what American can be than the repressive NFL.

  57. This incident is merely a reminder that the N.B.A., at its core, is just another corporate business (arguably a cartel), no different from Disney, Facebook, or Boeing. The only difference is that it sells athletic performance, while Facebook sells you and Boeing sells aircraft. As with any corporation, if you don't like that it is kissing Xi Jinping's rear (and I most certainly don't!), then organize a boycott of its products and let Silver & Co., as well as the Players Association, hear about it. And organize very public boycotts of its sponsors as well. On a personal level, find a way to pass on some support to Daryl Morey for speaking the truth to mega-financial power.

  58. The N.B.A., it turns out, is nothing more than a shill for the communist Chinese government that has been ponying up billions to promote the N.B.A. franchise in China. Look at Adam Silver trying to as hard as is humanly possible not to criticize the Chinese despots who are violently putting down rightful democratic dissent in Hong Kong. Does Silver have no principles at all? Or is he and the N.B.A. owners so besotted with Chinese money that he will turn his back on the Hong Kong protesters and kowtow to his new masters in Beijing?

  59. Brooklyn Nets fans may want to reconsider their attendance at Nets games with Joe Tsai complaining about Morey’s tweet. It may also be a nice gesture for fans to face the owners box at the first game of the season in Brooklyn and remind Tsai of America’s tradition of free speech...

  60. Way to go, China. A tweet that would have otherwise been seen by a few hundred people is now headline news around the world.

  61. At the end of the day, and for the history books, are you an American who fights for the principles and freedoms enshrined in our Constitution, or are you a weak sell-out who will abandon all principles and morals if the price is right?

  62. @Skip Bonbright We're talking about China, right?

  63. @Marc Yeah, sounds like Skip was addressing our president.

  64. “We believe that no comments challenging national sovereignty and social stability fall within the scope of freedom of expression.” Too bad - we do. Keep your money.

  65. My heart truly bleeds for the NBA losing Billions of dollars.If you want to dance with China I guess you are going to have to dance by their music. Does anyone really believe the people trying to make the billions are not going to find a way around this?Where were the fighters for God and The American Way when people were beating up on NFL players for protesting police violence?

  66. Looks like the NBA got the message that selling your soul to Chinese censors is hurting their brand. Now maybe they can endorse letting NCAA players earn something from their talent while in school.

  67. China TV won't broadcast a couple of pre-season games in China? Wait until their "patriotic" fans get tired of not seeing these NBA games they crave and rise up against the Red Chinese gov.

  68. "Fight for freedom; stand with Hong Kong." Pass it on. Free speech, Mr. Tsai. If you don't like it, sell it.

  69. The Chinese government could have ignored a tweet that otherwise would probably have been seen by a few dozen Houston fans and Mr. Morey's friends and family. Or it could have sent back a snappy answer like, "Hey, Mr. Morey, how about standing with your black players?" Instead, it has made itself look ridiculous and obnoxious in the world court of public opinion -- and this, at a time when it is involved in a serious trade dispute with this country. The Chinese are not good at this game.

  70. @HKGuy Could not have analyzed the situation better. Well said!

  71. @HKGuy \ There is no court of public opinion. Public opinion is not law enforcement, courts, judges and jury.

  72. Do I understand this correctly? Was this a statement from CCTV or a tweet from Trump: “We voice our strong dissatisfaction and opposition to Adam Silver offering as an excuse the right to freedom of expression,” CCTV said in its statement announcing the cancellation of the N.B.A. broadcasts. “We believe that no comments challenging national sovereignty and social stability fall within the scope of freedom of expression.”

  73. As much as China wants to make this about centuries-old national grievances against the West (hey, I was bullied as a child and, as an adult, i still sometimes view the world through that prism - I get it), an important fact that they are not acnowledging in their outrage over what happened almost 200 years is that the present incarnation of China - the current entity that has ruled China since 1949 signed a Treaty with Britain in 1997 which created The Basic Law applicable to Hong Kong which stiipulated a "hands off" policy by China regarding Hong Kong laws and governmeny, which is supposed to in effect until 2047. it is the apparent breaching of this Understanding by the currrent Chinese government that the cause of yhis disputem Chna and the Brooklyn Nets owner want to make this about 1841. The fact of the matter is about following the Rule of Law of a Treaty that China willingly signed in 1997. This isnt about foreigners abusing helpless China in the 19th Century - this totally about a powerful independent China keeping its word that it willingly gave 22 years ago.

  74. The real villain in the piece is the Rocket's owner who kowtowed to the PRC immediately. If the PRC is going to "punish" the NBA when someone who works in the league speaks truth to power, then the NBA should pull out of the PRC, not the other way around.

  75. As if the ways the Chinese government represses and oppresses its own citizens isn't bad enough, now they want to punish what Americans say in America. The NBA (and other businesses) have a great, if unwanted, opportunity to show that you stand on principle or you stand for nothing. There's much talk lately (including a recent front-page NY Times piece) on CEO activism, and the prospects that business leaders may step in to fill the void left by a dysfunctional American government that's abdicated many of its responsibilities towards us citizens. I, for one, would delight in seeing the NBA exhibit a stiff spine with China, especially given the deafening silence coming from our ridiculous POTUS, who has so far mustered exactly zero words in support of the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, or in support of democracy itself.

  76. We have Nixon to think for opening up the Chinese market. In many ways I wish it had stayed closed.

  77. Where we the Free Speech defenders when NFL Players knelled? I agree China is wrong but outrage by those who sat on their hands while NFL players were being vilified is suspect.

  78. @Steven McCain We were saying that they were free to speak their opinions about the subject at hand but that didn’t mean that they were free to violate the behavioral expectations of their employers at games.

  79. @KBronson Kneeling was (is) a silent protest. An action that lasts the length of a song and is over. And while I have not personally reviewed any NFL player contracts, I find it hard to imagine there being a "you will be patriotic at all times [patriotic being defined by the league commissioner]" clause. So to say they can speak their minds just as long as it doesn't interfere with anyone is disingenuous. Prohibiting kneeling is prohibiting freedom of expression, and no American citizen is required to take a loyalty oath at any time.

  80. @KBronson yes, because kneeling, a sign of quiet respect, is certainly a behavioral offense.

  81. The NBA should be willing to forego the Chinese market to defend a basic human right .... Free Speech. Dissent in China is a threat to a government that suppresses it's citizens from espousing anything that criticizes the regime. Even when our current administration is hesitant to defend these same values for people at home and abroad, institutions in the U.S. need to carry the torch regardless of cost. Somethings are priceless.

  82. For years, American (and Western and Japanese and Korea and most countries) got by without the Chinese market. And they prospered and survived for decades. Now many of these same businesses supposedly can not survive without China. They claim they need the revenues from China to fund the advance tech that must be deployed or to spread costs over more consumers. With that thinking, industries such as Automobile signed on Chinese partners as mandated by China and gave away their trade secrets. They cite China's one billion plus market as the means to "spread the cost". I will ask: what did they do before? Weren't GM, Ford, Toyota and VW profitable before the opening of the Chinese market. I come to the conclusion i that they are greedy, more and more is good. Wall Street dictates that these companies go after more and more profits. OK, lets go to the NBA. For years, the NBA was content to cater to the North American market. The teams are swimming in money as my cable bill goes up based on the astronomical cost of broadcast rights. Now the NBA doesn't have to do research and development; there is no big capital costs for teams as most of their stadia are paid for by taxpayers. What is the excuse for the NBA to put up with anything that China comes with? Let them take the games off the air. The Chinese people like basketball; the decision makers will come back to the NBA. Money isn't everything NBA! You are rich enough already!

  83. It’s hard to overstate how important this it is that the NBA, the owners, the players, and American fans send a message to China that it can’t stop an employee of an American company from expressing a personal opinion about China’s treatment of its citizens. There are no limits to that kind of expression. And the more the expression annoys the government in question, the more important it is that those who are in a position to support the expression do so because that is we how bring about change. Chinahave to choose between freedom of expression and the almighty dollar. Capitulate on this

  84. Daryl Morey needs to remember that you have a right to free speech, but there might be be a price that goes along with it.

  85. @BTO That's what the Chinese are counting on, BTO. It is how the Chinese wish to curtail our free speech rights. Perhaps you approve of that.

  86. @BTO And what is the price of silence then?

  87. @BTO I wonder what the people of Hong Kong think about that price right now. Let's keep it in perspective, OK?

  88. We are bowing to China in our movies. We are bowing to China now in sports based on an individual's tweet. Our President and most of our politicians are not strongly supporting Hong Kong. Ou companies have given away (and the Chinese have stolen) trillions of dollars in IP (most of which originated in some form at our great research university's, which even if they are "private" receive an enormous amount of money from the government (National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, etc.) Are all of our values for sale?

  89. @Dan L. Gimme a break. Those of your ilk always criticize Trump for his trade war on China. You speak out of both sides of your mouth. You can’t call for a hard line and complain when you get it. Hypocrisy.

  90. Contrary to what the headline says, Silver did not defend Morey at all. He simply acknowledged the American tradition of free speech. That's a huge difference. Of course no C.E.O. -- and that is precisely what Silver is -- will actually support an employee that costs the company some profit. This incident is merely a reminder that the N.B.A., at its core, is just another corporate business (arguably a cartel), no different from Disney, Facebook, or Boeing. The only difference is that it sells athletic performance, while Facebook sells you and Boeing sells aircraft. As with any corporation, if you don't like that it is kissing Xi Jinping's rear (and I most certainly don't!), then organize a boycott of its products and let Silver & Co., as well as the Players Association, hear about it. And organize very public boycotts of its sponsors as well. On a personal level, find a way to pass on some support to Daryl Morey for speaking the truth to mega-financial power.

  91. @Steve Fankuchen By acknowledging the American tradition of free speech, Silver was defending Mr. Moray's right to tweet about the situation in Hong Kong. And it's not kissing the Chinese premier's rear, it's standing up to him -- and losing a lot of money because of it, which negates your criticism that it only care about the money.

  92. After Adam Silver's initial stumble, he came back strong. Nicely done.

  93. So the NBA may lose some potential revenue if it gets closed out of the Chinese market. I guess the players will have to do with only $15 million dollar salaries rather than $20 million. Oh, the cost of freedom!

  94. @Cary NBA players are supreme athletes who have generally conditioned themselves tirelessly and have had to master the mental aspects of the game. Most players get several years to collect on their skills. Many have overcome great challenges in their lives. Some are international celebrities. Those who begrudge their short-lived high salaries have chosen the wrong targets, particularly because many players find ways to support the communities they come from and many are role models for young kids with big dreams.

  95. @michjas Not begrudging the money, just begrudging the selling out.

  96. The Chinese are doing what they must do, as is the NBA. The real drama, for those familiar with Chinese basketball, lies with Yao Ming. Yao runs Chinese basketball as its top executive. And he has been following the NBA model in attempting to raise the profile of the sport. It falls on him now to walk a fine line. If the NBA becomes a pariah in China, Yao will have to adopt a new course. And it will involve adherence to government dictates. The Chinese leadership knows nothing about building a basketball juggernaut. And If and when it cracks down on Yao, he may lose much ground in what he has so carefully built.

  97. @michjas Nobody cares about the Chinese basketball league outside of China, and even those in China must know that it is 1% of what the NBA is.

  98. "We will protect our employees freedom of speech" (Silver of the NBA). "We believe that no comment challenging... (the State/the CCP)...fall within the scope of freedom of expression" (China State media). There it is , the fundamental difference between China as a Maoist dictatorship to which the Chinese government has returned to under Xi, and Western values, which include Democracy and the will of the people. They wish to control all aspects of the lives of the Chinese people--of the choices they can make--with a rigid censorship to enforce it. And they plan to use their economic influence as leverage to export this to the rest of the world. Meanwhile, our own Orwellian government under Trump, is either looking the other way, or endeavoring to help them in the name of short range financial profit. Short range financial profit is not only undermining Democracy here, but is also doing in a planet favorable to human habitation. And in spite of what they say, short range profit by government officials is also doing in China:The CCP profits mightily from state monopolies including from the environmental harm rampant in China. In their public xenophobia, they are more concerned with this type of revelation than that their leader, Xi, resembles a children's bear, or that the NBA generally represents extreme free expression of its players on and off the court, whatever NBA corporate spokesmen or individual players are willing to state at any one time to equivocate on this.

  99. Adam Silver's job is to make money for NBA owners. Offending the Chinese inhibits NBA expansion and foreign revenue. I support the Hong Kong protestors and Morey, but I sympathize with Commissioner Silver for being in a very difficult position. Daryl Morey is not a basketball person. He has never played basketball competitively. In high school, he played the trumpet and the guitar. He's a "band camp" guy. Daryl Morey is one of those "Moneyball" quants deployed in basketball. He excelled in the processing of statistical information at Northwestern and MIT. He worked for Parthenon Group, a leading strategy consulting firm and STATS, Inc with a focus in sports. Hence, Daryl More is more concerned with quantitative data. He has been naive about how politics inflects business. In years past, an NBA executive would have to go out of his way to gather a press conference with print and television media present, and then make a formal statement about China. Nobody would go to that trouble. If he or she did, they would be stopped by somebody in the organization. But social media lowers the bar to entrance in the political arena. Anyone can tweet at no cost. Commissioner Silver should forgo the Chinese market, and cancel the games and any other deals with the Chinese. Silver should count the Disney and TNT money, and leave it at that. Morey is correct. But his ideas conflict with Alpha returns. Isn't that the problem with America?

  100. How do you spell hypocrisy? You spell it like this: an American claiming to support Hong Kong democracy on an iPhone made in China while shopping at Walmart for a television made in China, while wearing clothes made in China and complaining about the price of his car who’s parts are made in China. That not just buttering your bread both ways, it’s dipping it into the butter!

  101. @Freak It seems like you can spell it you just don't know what it means. Supporting Hong Kong democracy doesn't imply a boycott of all Chinese goods. The latter would be required for it to be hypocrisy.

  102. China needs the NBA more than the NBA needs China. Meaning that the average Chinese basketball fan is still lusting for NBA merch/swag and watching NBA games. NBA -- find another big market not ruled by a dictatorship. For instance, the NYT just had an article about basketball in India.

  103. Lets stop playing in Communist China. Why not pay more attention to Taiwan's friendship. China becomes a bully. The free world should unite to the new aggressive China. First stop Chinese students to study here. That will teach Xi Jinping a lesson. His daughter was a Harvard graduate. Who says Harvard discriminate against Asians and Chinese Americans?

  104. Support the freedom fighters in Hong Kong. The NBA should boycott China.

  105. There's only one NBA. Let China go.

  106. There is much to admire in China, Chinese culture and Chinese history, even the Chinese Communist Party deserves credit for lifting many in the world's most populous nation out of poverty and helping their country take its place in the modern world a great power and global force. But things only go so far, the current current Chinese government and communist party are bent on authoritarianism, territorial and economic expansionism and fascist like control of the state and China's domestic population, and the overt suppression of minority rights--they are implacably anti-democratic, anti-rule of law and anti-western. Those negative qualities make any harm to the NBA's promotion of basketball in China trivial by comparison. The NBA and all of its stakeholders, including the players, management and ownership should spare no quarter in their criticism of the Chinese government's conduct and rightly condemn its rank authoritarianism, whether directed against Hong Kong people, Tibetans, Uighers, Muslims or others in its population. The CCP has done much to advance China's place on the world stage, but it is far from a fair, humane or honest regime dedicated to human rights.

  107. Oh no, “sanctions” go both ways! What have we started? Any “deal makers” around? Donny, Donny, Donny..,

  108. China Central Television says: “We believe that no comments challenging national sovereignty and social stability fall within the scope of freedom of expression.” What this Communist Party organ really means is: "We believe that no comments challenging the Communist Party and its social repression fall within the scope of freedom of expression." Welcome to 'China 1984'. World beware. NBA -- Please put freedom and democracy before dollars. Americans want to continue to respect you.

  109. The NBA was doing just fine without China, and it doesn't need China today. Stand firm, Commissioner SIlver, and don't let the bullies gain a micron. If they don't like it, you/we can take our ball home while they pout like little children.

  110. China needs us much more than we need them. Look at the trade imbalance. No need to kowtow to the Chinese.

  111. Not only defend speech but also stand by people being subjugated. Just think if the people being abused were black, there would be now question of the right thing to do by the players

  112. Freedom of speech is okay in the USA (except in Colin Kaepernick's world), but it's not okay in China. If you're holding out your hand to collect money from the Chinese (the NBA collects billions), you might want to watch what you say about China. Duh.

  113. This is heartening. Stay the course, Mr. Silver. Dozens of prominent conservative columnists are busy revising their hot, hot takes about the "wokest" professional sports league. Isn't it curious how they all felt so compelled to attack the NBA?

  114. “We believe that no comments challenging national sovereignty and social stability fall within the scope of freedom of expression.” Kind of says it all......

  115. The NBA needs to grow a back bone. The NBA as a league has spoken out injustices more than the other sport's leagues, but it isn't about injustices here in American. When an injustice happens to anyone in the World........American or happens to everyone in the World.

  116. It's time to boycott the NBA for its spineless response.

  117. @Grace How about Apple? Citigroup? ExxonMobile?

  118. @gratis It has to start somewhere, and athletes unfairly carry the burden of their visibility.

  119. “We believe that no comments challenging national sovereignty and social stability fall within the scope of freedom of expression.” Now that's how a one party state sounds, do not criticize the party or it dear leader.

  120. Wait a minute here. Colin Kapernick invokes the creed of FREE SPEECH, to speak truth to American power. He continues to be vilified by most of our powers that are. The Chinese powers object to an American's critical comment of their system. He is praised for invoking the same FREE SPEECH creed that Colin did. Go figure.

  121. @masai hall Actually, the both the President at the time and the Democratic Presidential candidate supported Kapernick as did the NFL for the first season he did it, even though a number of fans said they would boycott. Kapernick did get blackballed, but NFL owners were forced to pay when he sued and he landed a lucrative deal with Nike. Some boycotted Nike and some praised them. Morey (who deleted the tweet) has been criticized by many here and the NBA's response was initially not positive. James Harden who plays for the Rockets apologized to his Chinese fans and sponsors. So both Kapernick and Morey have receive positive and negative feedback. Keep in mind this thing is only a few days old. At that point in the Kapernick episode, he had received no punishment and plenty of praise.

  122. @masai hall Kap is a hero. History will be kind to him.

  123. This shows a lack of confidence of the Chinese regime. Are they really that fragile and afraid? This is crazy and sad. They are either totally paranoid or extremely cooky. Either way is no good.

  124. @Lincoln Paranoid for many decades. The profit motive is only 35 years old but they seem to have embraced it despite what I see as a bumpy road ahead the next 5 years. hey have spread themselves awfully thin in Africa and the Middle East. How many people are aware of their ownership of American Agribusiness. Go to wikipedia and look up Smithfield Foods in VA.

  125. The pathetic attempts at political extortion of dissent demonstrate that China is not ready for leadership on the world stage. Only a country with something to hide is so fearful of the truth. They are burning their good will as fast as they can earn it. Losing face every day in the process. How shameful. Their ancestors would weep.

  126. @Rob I think a painful recession might be in order for China. Not just a lower growth of GNP but a negative hit. I would expect a flow of billionares might choose to leave and visit their money secreted else where in the globe.

  127. Good job Mr. Silver

  128. This Nets fan finds Nets Owner Joe Tsai's defense of the totalitarian dictator repugnant; this is what he learned at Yale?

  129. The problem is few Americans know how violent the Hong Kong protesters have become because of the biased coverage in the US. Only yesterday did NYT publish an article that covers the dark side of the protests, more than three months after the violence began: I encourage readers to go to SCMP (HK's main English broadsheet) and watch some of the videos they shot. The protesters have turned HK into a war zone, wantonly destroying shops, banks, the airport, and the subway system, whereas most Americans still have the false impression that they're peaceful democracy activists. When someone says they support the HK protests, it's fair for the Chinese to assume they support the violent mobs, which is why they're so incensed.

  130. @Nomad The violence seems to have escalated after the police actually started shooting unarmed civilians. Understandable at least to me. Of course it might be tactically smarter to be careful in how violence is used, but really -- will the best choices make any difference a year from now? Apparently Xi is deliberately goading the protestors into more and more violence, so that he'll can look good when he sends in the army. The protesters -- and the citizens of Hongkong -- may be left with two very bad choices: Submit now or submit later. No matter how it ends, I have to hand it to them for their courage. If only we Americans could fill the streets with 10 to 20 percent of the total population, to support Trump's impeachment. In that way Hongkong sets a sterling example.

  131. @Nomad I wonder what you do if the freedoms you knew were being taken away and you were going to be thrust behind a curtain of oppression.

  132. Hmm yeah, well. Boston Tea Party and all that. OK for us but not OK for others? I don't think so.

  133. It's funny how many hypocrites here like to cheer on the Hong Kong separatists, but don't seem to have anything nice to say about the people of Donetsk breaking off from Ukraine. Something tells me all these foreign cheerleaders have ulterior motives that have nothing to do with freedom.

  134. Why is the NBA afraid of China? You're the NBA. You don't need China. There are many more places in the world willing to fill your ranks.

  135. 1.5 billion reasons....

  136. China has drawn a red line that it can't sustain or enforce and it has catapulted its reputation from an all-seeing police state to: "International Monster of the Year." China messed up. This is Hong Kong -- not an isolated Tibetan corner of the Chinese Himalayas. These are Hongkongers (Hongkies or "hua ren" to some) -- not a Uyghur minority in peril of state-sponsored ethnocide because they're Muslim. Tibetans and Uyghurs living overseas have endured surveillance and death threats from Beijing for years. But sending plainclothes goons onto Hong Kong streets to crack some skulls? China can't isolate Hong Kong. It can't demonize peaceful demonstrators. It can't track every HongKonger or expat living outside China. Beijing learned nothing from the bloody Tienanmen Square crackdown when Hong Kong virtually rose as one to excoriate China's ruthless attack on its own citizens, crushing free speech. In an ideal world, the NBA would boycott China. NBA fans would take nothing less. But China has learned that money talks -- especially in pro-sports and broadcasting contracts. But what if freedom-loving athletes worldwide were to boycott the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo if China participated? Or boycotted the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing? Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.

  137. I do not get it. In my view of the world, it is not the NBA who should speak up. It is Apple, Boeing, Citigroup, Exxon Mobile, Google, Facebook, JPMorganChase, United Airlnes... the corporatists. No one seems upset at their silence.

  138. @gratis I agree but in our world, corporations are shamed and move forward only when it looks like they'll lose customers. So it starts with individual performers and athletes, who have the most to lose personally, to stand up for their values. Personally, I believe that anyone who benefits from our system, like the owner of the Nets, who was educated and worked in the USA, owes an enormous debt to those freedoms. Basketball and entertainment are uniquely American exports and I imagine they symbolize individuality to audiences around the world. If they are stripped of meaning and context, I suspect they will lose their value.

  139. If the NBA had any guts, they’d play the cancelled games in Taiwan. But as is painfully obvious, for all the bravado in that league, they are feckless and money-hungry, and fundamentally devoid of principles.

  140. What I can't understand is why is the Chinese state so incredibly fragile. They're actually complaining about their "hurt feelings"? Over a tweet? If China wants to play on the world stage as a superpower it needs to stop acting like a bratty 5-year-old. Get a thicker skin.

  141. @Someone I think the Chinese overreaction is meant to let westerners know that if you want to make money in China you have to obey their political correctness. US has been placed its hegemony ideology on lots of areas especially to countries that not their allies, China now has economy power to say no to it. Furthermore, Chinese also learned that only “the squeaky wheel gets the grease", if they treated it easily, who knows what would be the next disrespect statement?

  142. @Elisa Some things are more important than money. Would you trade your American residency/citizenship for a Chinese one for millions of dollars?

  143. @Someone That phrase doesn't mean what you think it does. "Disappointment and anger" is probably a bit closer. It's not necessarily the translator's fault, as that phrase has become a piece of standard diplomatic jargon for the CCP. The translators have to balance character translation accuracy with regard to context but unfortunately it leads to a rather strange translation in English. Put another way, the way we here in the States understand the word "feelings" is different from what the characters mean in Chinese.

  144. Yao Ming is mad at the NBA and the Rockets, the team that paid him nearly $100 million? Is he now going to deny young Chinese players the opportunity to get mega-rich as well, in a fit of pique? Time will tell.

  145. @NA Yao was just a freak show in the NBA Circus. Made a boat load of money for Lester Alexander though. They never went far in post-season with Yao and he's back where he belongs. Probably high in the Communist Party.

  146. In America every person is entitled to speak their mind, express any idea, and disagree with the views of others, no matter how high or mighty. Remember the cyclist who gave the finger to Trump's motorcade? If Adam Silver has finally decided, after public outrage, not to choke Daryl Morey, the question now becomes when will we see Morey re-post his tweet "Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong"?

  147. "We believe that no comments challenging national sovereignty and social stability fall within the scope of freedom of expression." Fundamentally misunderstanding.

  148. I didn’t realize the flip flop was a basketball move.....sigh

  149. Every country has its own political correctness, in the US, freedom of speech does NOT include 'racist, sexist, LGBT, etc', in China, supporting separatism for HK, TW, Tibet, Xinjiang is not welcomed and it's the bottom line of the Chinese version political correctness. You wouldn't agree but it is the truth, it's not CCP coerces its people to against NBA, most of ordinary Chinese people don't like to be challenged on this topic too. Donald Sterling said racist statements privately and got fired and fined in 2014 because of the US PC, but when Morey offended Chinese PC, it's a different story. This is double standard in Chinese eyes. Of course you have your freedom of speech, but please do not make money in China while disrespecting that market.

  150. @Elisa - disrespecting that market? Chinese political correctness? This is about the Chinese violating its written agreement with the U.K. regarding Hong Kong. It’s about lawlessness and egregious human and civil rights violations. A specious argument here, I’m afraid.

  151. @Nmp No, in China's perspective, The Sino-British Joint Declaration is no longer holding its effectiveness when Britain handed HK over to China in 1997, the only constitution in HKSAR is the Hong Kong Basic Law. HK people have enjoyed full human and civil rights on their own since 1997, how do you see they are abused by CCP? Furthermore, you can argue that HKers demand to have the universal suffrage to elect their Chief Executive, but that's far from the so-called "freedom" as it has to be approved by the central government. At last, this is China's domestic issue, I don't think a sport league GM knows the whole story (most likely the biased part that your media poured into) and his careless comment really damaged the NBA brand in China.

  152. The tweet was nothing. It shows incredible weakness, spinelessness, immaturity and cowardice to react in such a way. China is hopelessly backward and has a long road ahead before it can be taken seriously on the world stage. Money and population are not enough.

  153. like many companies, the NBA cares more about money than human welfare. China's squashing the NBA over one employee's public statement says volumes about how they handle dissidents within their own actual country.

  154. @ray ??? The NBA in this case forfeited a great deal of money to defend the right of one of its team owners to express an opinion.

  155. "It is not the role of the N.B.A. to adjudicate those differences." Well, N.B.A., you certainly adjudicated some differences in North Carolina a while back. It should be quite a bit easier to defend Hong Kong's freedom than it was to oppose bathroom gendering.

  156. China is violating a written agreement with the U.K. regarding freedoms in Hong Kong. I'm sorry, but China is wrong here-period. As for attempting to dictate to an American company how to do business, China had better be careful. They may ultimately disengage with the U.S. due to Trump's unreliable, crazy behavior, but their only other alternative, the EU, is hardly going to muzzle their citizens to placate China. If China doesn't clean up its act, it may find it self on a self made island.

  157. The Chinese government loves nothing more than to prevent or manipulate the free flow of information. How better to control the masses they believe, at least those who never learned the meaning of critical thinking skills.

  158. Kudos to Adam Silver. His is a patriotic action. Don't give in to the dictators.

  159. What does the overreaction of your leaders to a single tweet, the people of China, say about their strength? Confucius said, "To see the right and not to do it is cowardice.” How do your leaders perform on this test of character? Let them explain how a single tweet justifies taking away your NBA games. What are they afraid of and why?

  160. @Didier Of course China is thin skinned. But more to the point, they work hard to make sure that no one dares speak ill of their government, anywhere in the world. And they are doing an efficient job.

  161. Not really. Have you seen the South Park episode “Band in China?” Not to be missed.

  162. 500 yrs later, ppl won’t remember how perfect DM was as a general manager at nba, but he would probably become start of the second Cold War. It’s true that NBA developed sports fan culture at China. i.e. the market is established, China should thank NBA. Now NBA leaves, fifa can come in. There are many sports more interesting than basketball. Ppl love basketball, not NBA, nba is never a sport, it’s an association.

  163. @Chibss People love watching the best at what they do. The best of the NBA are still the best in the world.

  164. @Chibss Ok so what happens when a FIFA star posts a tweet in support of the protesters, or Taiwan, or Tibet? This problem isn't going away because the world does not agree with China's authoritarian approach and ridiculous reactions to criticism of their government.

  165. @John A better solution is, DM clarify that he only supports peaceful protesters, not those ppl think they can do whatever they want under masks. Territory issue in China is as important as race problems here. There is no 100% freedom of speech. Growing up, ppl should know they can’t just say what they want, u can ask former owner of Clippers. NBA needs to know it’s not just China has historical issues, before those countries accept NBA broadcast. There is no true/false in conflict between 2 different value systems, only winner and loser. This is something must happen, actually the whole story is not sth surprising for me.

  166. This all goes to show you how thin-skinned the Chinese government and its lackeys are. Why couldn't they just ignore the tweet? Or say "It's an American basketball official; what he says is of no concern to us." As for Yao, well, good to know that while he benefited richly from the freedom and economic opportunities America had to offer, he won't stand up for his fellow Chinese in Hong Kong.

  167. @MV He might not consider Cantonese speaking Hong Kongers as equals to Mainland Han Mandarin speakers. They are well conditioned by government propaganda to feel superior. It is a homogeneous populace that stands together. Powerful and sometimes rabid.

  168. @MV Same with the Brooklyn Nets owner, who got all the benefits and freedoms of growing up in America, but now parrots the Communist Party Line that demonstrators are "separatists" when they are simply demanding the same rights Mr. Tsai enjoys in America.

  169. My respect for Yao is gone.

  170. No amount of money is worth trading in for our freedom of thought and speech. Thank you for exemplifying this in today’s environment. NBA is more American than the current potus.

  171. Quite a few technology companies thought they could continue to operate in China if they satisfied all the rules imposed by the Govt. The learned that eventually, China will create a Chinese version of the foreign company and kick the foreign company out one way or the other.

  172. Does everyone have to have a twitter account and comment on everything? Especially if you are in the public eye? If we have something to offer an opinion on we should do it the good old fashioned way, anonymously in the NYT comment section. He could walk around and tell everyone he wants that he supports the Hong Kong protesters- it is a lot more sincere that way anyway. Doing something on Twitter is the equivalent of sending thoughts and prayers- as the meme goes "I named my cats Thoughts and Prayers as they are both worthless" I am still mystified why everyone gets so excited about what happens on Twitter- it seems you can start World War III from the comfort of your chair- it used to be much much harder than that and require some real effort.

  173. I’d say he made a real difference with his comment. Just look at the reaction it has caused, and good for him. We should all be up shouting for Hong Kong against those totalitarian monsters.

  174. “We believe that no comments challenging national sovereignty and social stability fall within the scope of freedom of expression.” Just as this comment attempts to define what freedom of expression should be for us.

  175. “We believe that no comments challenging national sovereignty and social stability fall within the scope of freedom of expression.” That is exactly the sign of a repressive regime. That’s why people are protesting.

  176. @Jonathan And...."social stability" encompasses nearly anything. It especially encompasses political correctness. Therefore, those Americans demanding political correctness also oppose freedom of expression and favor an oppressive regime.

  177. “We believe that no comments challenging national sovereignty and social stability fall within the scope of freedom of expression.” And therein lies the vast difference between democracy and brutal dictatorships.

  178. A billion dollar corporation standing up for the values that set our country apart from nationalist regimes. How 1945.

  179. Silver wrote: “However, the N.B.A. will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues. We simply could not operate that way.” That is a deceitful lie. Silver and his NBA did exactly that when they censured, banned, and punished Donald Stirling for his politically incorrect speech within the US. And, Stirling's speech was not even made publicly. It was made in private, with absolutely no expectation or desire that it be public.

  180. The NBA can take a real stand for American values while simultaneously putting real pressure on the Chinese government: suspend all NBA activity in China and block games from being transmitted to the Chinese market until the Chinese government agrees that it cannot dictate American free speech with regard to Hong Kong, or anything else for that matter. Chinese citizens may be relatively docile when it comes to politics, but take away their access to NBA basketball because of the actions of their government, and they may let their displeasure be known.

  181. Maybe it's time we finally stop worrying about how China will react every move we make.

  182. “The N.B.A. has been in cooperation with China for many years,” Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a briefing on Tuesday. “It knows clearly in its heart what to say and what to do.” This is chilling. I’m proud of Adam silver and the NBA for standing up for freedom of speech.

  183. I’m surprised that Chinese government hopes to suppress voices against them even on a social media platform (Twitter) which is banned in China. Now they want to force an US citizen to obey the Chinese regulations on free speech. They totally misconduct what they are supposed to do and should let people in China also hear different perspectives.

  184. NBA revenue from China is $4 billion. The Knicks franchise is worth $4 billion itself. The Commissioner has decided to jeopardize Chinese revenue. But if he wanted to improve the League’s reputation at a cost of $4 billion, he probably would have been better off getting rid of the Knicks.

  185. The Knicks do not generate $4 billion so getting rid of them won’t impact the NBA’s revenue stream as much as you suggest...

  186. It is an even greater story when 2 feuding Texans from opposing political parties publicly agree on something (Cruz and Beto, who both stand for human rights in this case). Unfortunately, the Rocket's owner shows himself to be a shameless and spineless suck-up to China, not to mention a crappy boss to Mr. Morey, apparently in the interest of even greater monetary gain for Mr. Firtitta.

  187. The NBA has dug itself a huge, hypocritical and fraudulent hole. It’s OK for elites like Adam Silver, Steve Kerr and Greg Popovich to snub invitations to the White House, and then suck up to an oppressive Chinese regime. Sure, play the victim card for the black athletes making millions, but then don’t stand up for freedom and democracy. No more NBA for me- good riddance.

  188. What a fraud. The NBA protested North Carolina bathrooms but cowardly backpeddled on a true human rights issue in Hong Kong. At least we know their so-called "social awareness" is a lie.

  189. this is just like that South Park episode lol

  190. When are Americans going to learn to respect others especially when they are on their home turf? I remember some of our travel mates raising the ire of some Europeans on one of our trips there many years ago. The term “stupid Americans” was used to voice their displeasure with our travel mates conduct. An apology is only good if you mean it. It sounds like the NBA still has its head up you know what.

  191. @J How about China respecting the American notion of Free Speech?

  192. Honorable....regrettably too late. NBA Commissioner vocal on having the independence to be critical of Trump, NBA Commissioner marched in gay pride parade, joint restroom issues in North Carolina. China wiggles a few dollars to the NBA and guess where the value of free expression goes? Tell China where to go....citizens in Hong Kong are.

  193. The "Beard" has no spine -- no heart either. James Harden's needs to put his friendship with Yao Ming aside and be more than a grubby mercenary. Hey #13! It's gonna be awhile before fans forget this brick under pressure!

  194. Ban China from the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo! Boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Fight for freedom, stand for Hong Kong!

  195. There certainly is a level of rank hypocrisy among those American politicians who are now self-righteously but correctly blasting the NBA for kowtowing to China, when so many of the same completely freaked out when Colin Kaepernick took a knee.

  196. Stand your ground, are you with the people or oppressive governments. We are watching

  197. Who are we kidding? Money Talks.Daryl should hire a food taster because there has to be a lot of millionaires players and owners who are crying now.

  198. Unfortunately, as a former and naive admirer of Mao Tsetung, I have to admit that China is a totalitarian society much in the mold of Fascist Italy and the Third Reich in Germany. The tone, the symbolism, the bullying, are all quite familiar to those who read the history of the early 19th century. Many in the US tried to tiptoe along a line of accommodation with Hitler in the 30s. Conversations like this current blowup, and the anguish of those with business interests in China, are eerily reminiscent of parallel dialogues from 80 years ago.

  199. “We believe that no comments challenging national sovereignty and social stability fall within the scope of freedom of expression.” That says it all about freedom and China

  200. The Arc is Long --Bends Toward Justice

  201. What's LeBron's next pre-game shirt gonna say? HONG KONG!