NBA Stands With China, The U.S. With Hong Kong


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HOUSTON, TX - June 1: Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey is interviewed as the Rockets announce D'Antoni as their new head coach on June 1, 2016 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

Brennan Cabral, News Writer

In the midst of the highly supported pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, The NBA has been backing out on the defense of democracy in Hong Kong and has is in support in China, which fans and most of the world’s citizens are not happy about. It seems that the majority of western countries are in support of Hong Kong’s fight for freedom from the oppression of China’s communist government. 

More recently, Vice President Mike Pence spoke about the Trump administration policy in regards to the United States’ relationship with China in Washington. “Some of the NBA’s biggest players and owners, who routinely exercise their freedom to criticize this country, lose their voices when it comes to the

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 (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

freedom and rights of the people of China” said Pence (Rascoe, 2019). Pence’s statements against the NBA and China clearly display his disapproval of their support for a Communist regime. Pence also says, “in siding with the Chinese Communist Party in silencing free speech, the NBA is acting like a wholly owned subsidiary of that authoritarian regime” (Rascoe, 2019). Pence also claims that the United States of America stands in support of the pro-democracy protests taking place in Hong Kong.


Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has also announced his stance on the situation through a tweet in support of the Hong Kong protests. However, it was later removed due to criticism, including that from the star of the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James. Due to Morey’s tweet in support of Hong Kong, many appearances made by players were canceled and the 

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 (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

two preseason games being played there were not aired. LeBron’s statement to reporters in Los Angeles says, “Yes, we all do have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others and you’re only thinking about yourself”(Kennedy, 2019). James has also tweeted many times against Morey’s statement in regard to his support of Hong Kong, which has received backlash from the U.S. in addition to other countries. Michael David Smith from Pro Football Talk tweeted, “Morey literally was thinking about others. He was thinking about the people of Hong Kong, who want the same freedoms Americans take for granted” (Kennedy, 2019). James had also caught the attention and criticism from protestors in Hong Kong.


The protests have since escalated and have gotten more violent over the span of a few months, including a police officer shooting a protestor earlier in the month. The United States and other countries continue to announce their support for a democratic Hong Kong.


Rascoe, Ayesha. “Pence Chides NBA, Nike For ‘Losing Their Voices’ On China.” NPR, NPR, 24 Oct. 2019,

Kennedy, Merrit. “Back From China, LeBron James Speaks Out On NBA Controversy.” NPR, NPR, 15 Oct. 2019,

Deb, Sopan, and Marc Stein. “N.B.A. Executive’s Hong Kong Tweet Starts Firestorm in China.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 6 Oct. 2019,

“Tilman Fertitta, Left, Owner of the Houston Rockets and Daryl Morey,… News Photo.” Getty Images, morey.

“LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers Smiles after the Game against… News Photo.” Getty Images, james.

“U.S. Vice President Mike Pence Acknowledges the Crowd upon Taking the… News Photo.” Getty Images, pence.