Who could have seen this coming?
Never one to miss an opportunity to signal more virtue than the next cisgender being, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a handful of other uber-alles bipartisan lawmakers have written a sternly-worded letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver "expressing our deep concern" about China's "outrageous" use of its economic might to suppress speech of Americans.
Piling on, they add that the NBA “should have anticipated the challenges of doing business in a country run by a repressive single party government - including by being prepared to stand in strong defense of the freedom of expression of its employees, players, and affiliates across the globe.”
And so the politicians demand that the private company do the following...
1. Build upon your statement of October 8 in which you said "the NBA will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees, and team owners say or will not say on these issues" by clarifying that (a) NBA players, staff, partners, and fans in the United States are American persons—as such, you support their right to express their opinions no matter the economic consequences, and (b) while the NBA will follow Chinese law in China, the Chinese Communist Party must respect that the association will abide by American laws and principles in its global operations, including by not conditioning employment on any guidelines of expression on international political issues.
2. Suspend NBA activities in China until government-controlled broadcasters and government-controlled commercial sponsors end their boycott of NBA activities and the selective treatment of the Houston Rockets, and emphasize that the association will stand unified in the face of future efforts by Chinese government-controlled entities to single out individual teams, players, or associates for boycotts or selective treatment.
3. Reevaluate the NBA's training camp in Xinjiang, where up to a million Chinese citizens are held in concentration camps as part of a massive, government-run campaign of ethno-religious repression.
4. Clarify in internal association documents that public commentary on international human rights repression including in Tibet, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang falls within expected standards of public behavior and expression.
Is that all?
This is going to be awkward...
Then the piece de resistance:
"Unless American businesses aggressively confront this intimidation campaign, the Chinese government will increasingly pubish free speech outside China's borders."
The lawmakers are clearly upset that someone else is challenging Washington's monopoly (through their Silicon Valley lackeys) over who gets to decide who should be censored and for what. There's only room for one free-speech-decider in this world!!
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Full letter below: