Cs purged from Chinese TV

jose melendez

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Enes Kanter is awesome. He may also get himself cut.

The Boston Celtics are facing blowback in China after center Enes Kanter posted a video voicing his support for Tibetan independence.
The reaction was swift. Chinese video-streaming giant Tencent cut the live broadcast of Wednesday's NBA game between the Celtics and the New York Knicks. On Thursday, Chinese social media was filled with angry fans calling for a boycott.
China is a real problem for the NBAs commitment to social justice. You can't let your players use their platform to criticize the U.S. government but deny them the same opportunity to criticize a totalitarian state.
 

BaseballJones

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This really is super interesting. The NBA has a vested interest in expanding the game to the largest nation in the world (population-wise) - I mean, there's 1.4 billion people in China (17% of the world's total population). There's a TON of money at stake.

But the NBA is also very clearly supportive of their players speaking out against injustice, and obviously China has a lousy human rights record and is, as jose put it, a totalitarian state.

It would be very hypocritical for the NBA to allow players to criticize the US on social justice grounds but to not allow them to criticize China. The league stands to lose an awful lot of money on this. It will be interesting to see if they promote principle or money here.
 

Cellar-Door

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This really is super interesting. The NBA has a vested interest in expanding the game to the largest nation in the world (population-wise) - I mean, there's 1.4 billion people in China (17% of the world's total population). There's a TON of money at stake.

But the NBA is also very clearly supportive of their players speaking out against injustice, and obviously China has a lousy human rights record and is, as jose put it, a totalitarian state.

It would be very hypocritical for the NBA to allow players to criticize the US on social justice grounds but to not allow them to criticize China. The league stands to lose an awful lot of money on this. It will be interesting to see if they promote principle or money here.
They'll likely just do nothing and hope it goes away, it's the go to move. They won't do anything to Kanter, and after a while China will put Celtics games back on unless he keeps going. Nobody involved REALLY wants a fight, NBA wants the money, China doesn't really want to make a true fuss, they want some cheap nationalist headlines, a long term fight with the NBA probably hurts, as it encourages the fans to use VPNs and other means to get around the firewall of doom, and doing so exposes them to lots of things the CCP doesn't want them to see.
 

shaggydog2000

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This really is super interesting. The NBA has a vested interest in expanding the game to the largest nation in the world (population-wise) - I mean, there's 1.4 billion people in China (17% of the world's total population). There's a TON of money at stake.

But the NBA is also very clearly supportive of their players speaking out against injustice, and obviously China has a lousy human rights record and is, as jose put it, a totalitarian state.

It would be very hypocritical for the NBA to allow players to criticize the US on social justice grounds but to not allow them to criticize China. The league stands to lose an awful lot of money on this. It will be interesting to see if they promote principle or money here.
This is no change though, the NBA and the vast majority of their players have always been hypocritical when it comes to China. And this isn't to single them out, the vast majority of companies and countries are hypocritical when it comes to China as well. Their government has a huge financial hammer that they wield constantly in a (so-far) successful attempt to control what the outside world says about them and what their people can see and hear.
 

HomeRunBaker

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They'll likely just do nothing and hope it goes away, it's the go to move. They won't do anything to Kanter, and after a while China will put Celtics games back on unless he keeps going. Nobody involved REALLY wants a fight, NBA wants the money, China doesn't really want to make a true fuss, they want some cheap nationalist headlines, a long term fight with the NBA probably hurts, as it encourages the fans to use VPNs and other means to get around the firewall of doom, and doing so exposes them to lots of things the CCP doesn't want them to see.
This is how guys get blackballed out of the league. You simply cannot have one of your employees negatively affecting such a large revenue stream. Yeah I know freedoms, human rights, et al I get that but at the end of the day this is a ginormous business and the NBA needs China to maximize its revenue potential……they don’t need Kanter to do so.
 

Cellar-Door

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This is how guys get blackballed out of the league. You simply cannot have one of your employees negatively affecting such a large revenue stream. Yeah I know freedoms, human rights, et al I get that but at the end of the day this is a ginormous business and the NBA needs China to maximize its revenue potential……they don’t need Kanter to do so.
He won't be. The NBA is too smart for that, China isn't going to shut out the NBA for one bench player's comments, they didn't even do it long term for Morey, and Morey is a much bigger deal and got much more attention. And Morey... got another job immediately. The NBA is balancing China vs. domestic, they want the China money, but they also don't want to get hammered domestically for kowtowing. They saw what a PR disaster Kaepernick has been for the NFL, they aren't making that mistake with Kanter. If it were someone with more reach, maybe, but even then I doubt it.
 

lexrageorge

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Morey took a ton of undeserved crap from for criticizing China's handling of Hong Kong dissidents; watch the videos if you disagree that the Chinese government deserved any criticism for their actions. It was not a good look for the NBA, but other events soon after dominated the headlines.

Kanter actually has experience living under a totalitarian government, and was at one point subject to arrest if he ever left US borders. The NBA has to do the right thing here and stand by its players. Freedom of speech is a fundamental American value, and the NBA should support that over the whims of an awful government.
 

Euclis20

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He won't be. The NBA is too smart for that, China isn't going to shut out the NBA for one bench player's comments, they didn't even do it long term for Morey, and Morey is a much bigger deal and got much more attention. And Morey... got another job immediately. The NBA is balancing China vs. domestic, they want the China money, but they also don't want to get hammered domestically for kowtowing. They saw what a PR disaster Kaepernick has been for the NFL, they aren't making that mistake with Kanter. If it were someone with more reach, maybe, but even then I doubt it.
Morey apologized. Given his history, I'm not sure Kanter does the same. I love the guy but he's a 3rd string center making the vet minimum (or close to it). We just had a double OT game missing one of the centers in front of him, and he didn't play a minute. The optics are really rough if they cut him, but were I a gambling man i'd say this is his last year in the NBA.
 

Cellar-Door

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Morey apologized. Given his history, I'm not sure Kanter does the same. I love the guy but he's a 3rd string center making the vet minimum (or close to it). We just had a double OT game missing one of the centers in front of him, and he didn't play a minute. The optics are really rough if they cut him, but were I a gambling man i'd say this is his last year in the NBA.
It might be, honestly it might have been anyway, but I don't think he gets blackballed. There are degrees to these things. If China was REALLY pissed they would have pulled NBA games, instead of just the Celtics games. When and where they push is strategic, as is when and where the NBA caves. If China pushes hard on every thing, eventually someone will call their bluff. It's one thing to be seen as caving somewhat to China, it's another to be seen as at the beck and call of their every whim. China knows it too, so Celtics will be off tencent for the season probably, but otherwise the NBA will go on. Both sides know that if Kanter gets blackballed it just means that his comments will be amplified for years, every time China or the NBA does something it will come up.
 

luckiestman

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He won't be. The NBA is too smart for that, China isn't going to shut out the NBA for one bench player's comments, they didn't even do it long term for Morey, and Morey is a much bigger deal and got much more attention. And Morey... got another job immediately. The NBA is balancing China vs. domestic, they want the China money, but they also don't want to get hammered domestically for kowtowing. They saw what a PR disaster Kaepernick has been for the NFL, they aren't making that mistake with Kanter. If it were someone with more reach, maybe, but even then I doubt it.
Morey prostrated himself before the commies
 

BigSoxFan

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Poor Chinese hoops fans. They’re going to miss out on a lot of beautiful Tatum long 2’s.
 

luckiestman

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Kanter will be fine. If he gets blackballed I assume NIKE will pay him a bunch of cash to endorse their product.
 

reggiecleveland

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Kanter will be fine. If he gets blackballed I assume NIKE will pay him a bunch of cash to endorse their product.
Not a chance. Nike revenues are about 40-45% from China. Not to mention where the children sewing their stuff are located.
Kaepernick's criticism of the USA was pretty popular outside the USA, but CK did not respond to requests to address China and the forced labor used to make Nike's. I don't see any way Nike makes posters of Kanter criticizing China. The bad PR of such hypocrisy would not be worth it. I can see Chapelle or Bill Burr talking about how you can hear the screams of Uyghur children if you hold an Air Jordan to their ear.

People think the Kaepernick campaign was about liberal media bias, blah, blah, but it was carefully considered marketing strategy to get positive press and to make the more woke feel good about buying NIke, and overlooking the Swoosh's human right's record easier. They also knew with every SEC team under a Nike contract the people most upset by it would keep buying Nike too.

Kanter offers no such positives while angering literally half of their customers.
 

luckiestman

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Not a chance. Nike revenues are about 40-45% from China. Not to mention where the children sewing their stuff are located.
Kaepernick's criticism of the USA was pretty popular outside the USA, but CK did not respond to requests to address China and the forced labor used to make Nike's. I don't see any way Nike makes posters of Kanter criticizing China. The bad PR of such hypocrisy would not be worth it. I can see Chapelle or Bill Burr talking about how you can hear the screams of Uyghur children if you hold an Air Jordan to their ear.

People think the Kaepernick campaign was about liberal media bias, blah, blah, but it was carefully considered marketing strategy to get positive press and to make the more woke feel good about buying NIke, and overlooking the Swoosh's human right's record easier. They also knew with every SEC team under a Nike contract the people most upset by it would keep buying Nike too.

Kanter offers no such positives while angering literally half of their customers.
I hate to do this to such a great poster and I don’t feel good about it but rules are rules

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.

.

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Thanks, Ben

45691
 

BigMike

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Massive amount of respect for Kanter. This makes him one of my favorite players in the sport.

I'm quite sure luckiestman's comment above was purely younger in cheek to point out the abject GoPro easy with Nike and the NBA playing the social justice game, while at the same time cozying up to the worst civil rights abusers in the world
 

mauf

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Morey took a ton of undeserved crap from for criticizing China's handling of Hong Kong dissidents; watch the videos if you disagree that the Chinese government deserved any criticism for their actions. It was not a good look for the NBA, but other events soon after dominated the headlines.

Kanter actually has experience living under a totalitarian government, and was at one point subject to arrest if he ever left US borders. The NBA has to do the right thing here and stand by its players. Freedom of speech is a fundamental American value, and the NBA should support that over the whims of an awful government.
Morey caught flak for two reasons.

1. Executives are not generally free to express their personal opinions if that harms the business that employs them. The NBA is no different than other businesses in that regard.

2. The enterprise value of the NBA is created by players and owners. If they want to take public stands that might hurt the business, that’s their prerogative. Front-office execs are fungible; they don’t have the same prerogative.

#1 doesn’t apply to Kanfer.

#2 arguably does, because benchwarmers like Kanter are fungible too. But it’s not as easy for stars to tell bench players to shut up as it is to tell front-office execs to shut up.

I think this blows over.
 

theapportioner

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I don't think this blows over. Seems Xi Jinping is setting himself up as ruler for life and is instituting policies that could be interpreted as a second Cultural Revolution.
 

Obscure Name

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Love Kanter, but I wonder how this is going to sit with his teammates who likely want to grow their name recognition and personal brands in China.
 

Cellar-Door

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Love Kanter, but I wonder how this is going to sit with his teammates who likely want to grow their name recognition and personal brands in China.
I would guess they don't care. Unless you play in China, you don't care that much about China. Nike cares a lot, but the player's deal is with Nike and Chinese market penetration is almost certainly not going to effect it. Maybe LeBron's deal is based on that, but like Tatum... no chance, he gets paid the same either way.
 

shaggydog2000

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I don't think this blows over. Seems Xi Jinping is setting himself up as ruler for life and is instituting policies that could be interpreted as a second Cultural Revolution.
He's definitely been taking the tech leaders and celebrities down a peg or two and trying to refocus the praise of the country on the central government. And himself. He's basically shut out Marvel and other major entertainment companies. He can make the Celtics disappear and Weibo will insist they never existed.
 

bankshot1

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With so many good NBA games available in China, I suspect the typical Chinese fan/consumer won't really miss much if the Celts ban remains in place. But that might change once the post-season starts. If the ban continues, and the Celts play deep (let's hope) Chinese fans might ask why a bench player expressing his opinion is such a threat to a super power.

I think buckling to a repressive foreign country and stifling free speech is a huge mistake for US companies who voice support for democratic ideals.
 

theapportioner

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He's definitely been taking the tech leaders and celebrities down a peg or two and trying to refocus the praise of the country on the central government. And himself. He's basically shut out Marvel and other major entertainment companies. He can make the Celtics disappear and Weibo will insist they never existed.
Yup. The levers of control and suppression that governments now have at their disposal, coupled with new avenues of propaganda and more subtle methods of influencing, through social media, other electronic communications etc. is absolutely frightening. 20th-century style totalitarianism is Neanderthal-like compared to what's coming.
 

theapportioner

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With so many good NBA games available in China, I suspect the typical Chinese fan/consumer won't really miss much if the Celts ban remains in place. But that might change once the post-season starts. If the ban continues, and the Celts play deep (let hope) Chinese fans might ask why a bench player expressing his opinion is such a threat to a super power. I think buckling to a repressive foreign country and stifling free speech is a huge mistake for US companies who voice support for democratic ideals.
I doubt it. They are cracking down on video games, limiting kids from playing to three hours a week. No widespread riots. Tiananmen 2021/22 ain't happening because of the Celtics making the NBA finals.
 

bankshot1

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I doubt it. They are cracking down on video games, limiting kids from playing to three hours a week. No widespread riots. Tiananmen 2021/22 ain't happening because of the Celtics making the NBA finals.
Tianammen 2022 wasn't my thought, but rather, if China wants to suppress free speech in China it can, and it it wants to be petty it is what it is, but we should not sacrifice our democratic ideals for Chinese market share.
 

TripleOT

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I don’t think Chinese fans are going to be too happy when the Celtics are in the finals and their government blocks them from watching the games
 

shaggydog2000

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I don’t think Chinese fans are going to be too happy when the Celtics are in the finals and their government blocks them from watching the games
They made Tech CEOs and celebrities disappear ovenight. Both figuratively and literally. All of this actresses work and social media presence was erased from China accessible sources:
View: https://www.npr.org/2021/09/02/1033541345/chinese-actress-disappears-from-social-media-as-china-cracks-down-on-influencers
.

They have grabbed celebrities and CEOs and people will not see them for months or a year. Jack Ma is one of the most famous people on the planet, and when he criticized China's financial policy, they held the CEO of one of their economies biggest and most important companies hostage for months.

If the Celtics make the NBA finals China will just pretend it's not happening. Or that the NBA has horribly violated the Chinese people and that everyone should ignore it now. Millions of voices (that are puppets) will pop up on social media to support it.
 

lexrageorge

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They made Tech CEOs and celebrities disappear ovenight. Both figuratively and literally. All of this actresses work and social media presence was erased from China accessible sources:
View: https://www.npr.org/2021/09/02/1033541345/chinese-actress-disappears-from-social-media-as-china-cracks-down-on-influencers
.

They have grabbed celebrities and CEOs and people will not see them for months or a year. Jack Ma is one of the most famous people on the planet, and when he criticized China's financial policy, they held the CEO of one of their economies biggest and most important companies hostage for months.

If the Celtics make the NBA finals China will just pretend it's not happening. Or that the NBA has horribly violated the Chinese people and that everyone should ignore it now. Millions of voices (that are puppets) will pop up on social media to support it.
You’ve made an excellent case for not caving to China on free speech.
 

kazuneko

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Love Kanter, but I wonder how this is going to sit with his teammates who likely want to grow their name recognition and personal brands in China.
I seriously hope that neither Tatum or Brown (the only guys who have any chance of having “personal brands” in China) give a crap about this. In an ideal world I’d hope Brown would even speak up in support and then be joined by several other stars. I sincerely doubt this is the moment that happens, but I think the NBA needs to wake up to the idea that someday something similar might happen as the status quo is unsustainable and ridiculous. At some point the vast difference between the views of China’s authoritarian government and the civil rights oriented world of the NBA cannot last. While many of today’s stars may be narcissists who care more about their “personal brands” than universal ideals, it wouldn’t take too many players to blow this up; there is no way the NBA can keep a lid on this forever…
 

Nick Kaufman

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If China wants to silence Kanter, they should insist he becomes the C's starting center.

But seriously, respect to Kanter, though at some point he should start picking his battles.

I am very worried about China's ability to use its market power to suppress dissent abroad. It was supposed to be the other way.
 

lexrageorge

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I am very worried about China's ability to use its market power to suppress dissent abroad. It was supposed to be the other way.
Amazing to me how quick people are to discount the inherent dangers in allowing that to happen here.
 

koufax32

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I read somewhere that Philly games are still blacked out and n China because Morey is there now. I’ll try to find that quote.

Edit: In the middle of the ESPN article:

“Games involving the Philadelphia 76ers are also not streamed in China, two years after then-Houston Rocketsexecutive Daryl Morey, now the Sixers' president of basketball operations, tweeted his support for the democracy movement in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong ahead of NBA preseason games in the country. Chinese state broadcaster CCTV stopped broadcasting NBA games after that.”

The point being that I don’t know if this just blows over.
 

jose melendez

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Interesting choice by the Chinese government to blackball people forever. On the one hand, it probably discourages people from saying anything to begin with. On the other hand, if there's no reward for recanting, people are much less likely to do so.

Kanter doing this as an expendable player is really admirable. He could easily never work again because no one wants to deal with the issue. If a big star, say LeBron or Steph, would come forward on this stuff, China might be able to shut them out, but the league never would or could.

It's actually a pretty great position to take if there are any NBA stars who fancy a career in politics.
 

scott bankheadcase

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The NBA should tell China to broadcast all their teams, or none of them.
I understand the sentiment, but that's not how the content and game distro deals work. For a non-political example, the Greece broadcaster shows almost entirely Bucks games, for obvious reasons. The licensee has almost always paid for their right to choose which games.
 

reggiecleveland

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I teach ESL and it is impossible to overstate the effectiveness of China's control of information. Around 50% of my students are immigrants from China, often economic immigrants with very negative views about the government.
But these students:
laugh when we say Tiananmen Square happened. CNN staged/exaggerated it
repeat almost verbatim talking points when writing about the future. I see/hear these points often
China is growing economically and this is important
the religiously ignorant have already crippled the USA
often this phrase is used making me think is it taught in school 'cling to bibles while getting fatter and more stupid'
The Americans who believe in science are too busy worried about hurt feelings and fighting each other, destroying people over social opinions, at least China punished people who hurt the economy not for saying the wrong words
China gets things done, even if there are a few small human rights problems
Things are getting better
Negative news about China is put front and center in western news out of fear
TAIWAN IS NOT A COUNTRY!!!!!
Canada should be a partner with China, not the USA since Canada is an educated, scientific country not 'an empire in its death throes.'


Students who have been here for a few years are more negative about China, but their primary concern is the government not allowing them to own more property and make more money.
 

SumnerH

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I understand the sentiment, but that's not how the content and game distro deals work. For a non-political example, the Greece broadcaster shows almost entirely Bucks games, for obvious reasons. The licensee has almost always paid for their right to choose which games.
People are capable of making distinctions, and it'd be entirely possible for the NBA to do that in their next contract if they cared (which they probably don't, as it would be potentially quite costly).

Employment law, for instance, distinguishes between various types of discrimination, legal and illegal.
 

sezwho

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I teach ESL and it is impossible to overstate the effectiveness of China's control of information. Around 50% of my students are immigrants from China, often economic immigrants with very negative views about the government.
But these students:
laugh when we say Tiananmen Square happened. CNN staged/exaggerated it
repeat almost verbatim talking points when writing about the future. I see/hear these points often
China is growing economically and this is important
the religiously ignorant have already crippled the USA
often this phrase is used making me think is it taught in school 'cling to bibles while getting fatter and more stupid'
The Americans who believe in science are too busy worried about hurt feelings and fighting each other, destroying people over social opinions, at least China punished people who hurt the economy not for saying the wrong words
China gets things done, even if there are a few small human rights problems
Things are getting better
Negative news about China is put front and center in western news out of fear
TAIWAN IS NOT A COUNTRY!!!!!
Canada should be a partner with China, not the USA since Canada is an educated, scientific country not 'an empire in its death throes.'


Students who have been here for a few years are more negative about China, but their primary concern is the government not allowing them to own more property and make more money.
Fascinating, ESL offers a unique perspective on the lens people from different countries see America through.
 

scott bankheadcase

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People are capable of making distinctions, and it'd be entirely possible for the NBA to do that in their next contract if they cared (which they probably don't, as it would be potentially quite costly).

Employment law, for instance, distinguishes between various types of discrimination, legal and illegal.
Oh sure, the NBA could put whatever they want in the next contract. But probably can't do that in the current situation being discussed.
 

Average Game James

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Marciano490

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Wow. Good for him. That’s some bravery. Forget Kyrie, this is the modern Ali.