US political correctness kills NBA's market in China

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/9 1:34:05

As the Daryl Morey incident continues to fester, a number of Chinese entertainment stars have announced their withdrawal from the NBA's scheduled promotional activities in Shanghai and other related events in China. The NBA's long-accumulated market clout in China is flagging. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's comments on Morey have sparked more public outrage in China and things are going into a tailspin.

The funny thing is that Silver and the NBA have been heavily criticized in both China and the US. Almost as soon as Chinese stars announced the boycott, several members of the US Congress, including Republican Senator Marco Rubio, have accused the NBA of pleasing Chinese fans in order to pursue profit.  

The tweet that Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey posted "Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong" has made the Rockets and the NBA pay a huge price. As the issue is turning into a serious clash involving political correctness in Chinese and American society, there's little room for reconciliation. The NBA's market in China faces unprecedented challenges. 

At this time, Silver, as the commissioner of the NBA, will only offend more people no matter what he tries to say. Neither Chinese public opinion nor US public opinion is satisfied with his comments. The crazier the political correctness in the US is,  the stronger the backlash on the Chinese internet. The result is that the US' arrogance is killing the NBA market in China. The Chinese public has been responding to American attitudes all along. We are not provocateurs, but staunch defenders of our rights.

US elites are compelling Silver and the NBA to treat the Chinese market arrogantly, which is unacceptable to the Chinese public. Tweeting something offensive to the Chinese people before a series of NBA promotional activities in China only shows a lack of intellect, respect, and responsibility.

When it comes to foreign interactions, the US prioritizes its interests. Even the so-called freedom of speech typically serves American national interests. The Confucius Institute tries to promote Chinese culture, but has been slammed in the US. A large number of social media accounts that oppose violence in Hong Kong were suspended by Twitter and Facebook.

US elites advocate for freedom of speech but only allow the freedom of supporting Hong Kong protesters while opposing freedom of the NBA to issue a mild apology to the Chinese public.

The promotion of NBA in China is market behavior. The Chinese market is made up of fans and the public. How to respect the Chinese market, or if it is willing to abandon Chinese market, let the NBA and US political and opinion elite grapple.

Some American elites want to turn the NBA's promotion in China into a powerful display of the arrogant US political correctness. This is a luxurious idea.

The article is an editorial of the Global Times.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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