DVice-President Mike Pence has named the NBA basketball professional league NBA for its defeat of China as a “subsidiary of this authoritarian regime.” The NBA players and managers never shied away from criticizing America, but they faltered for fear of the Communist Party in Beijing, Pence criticized on Thursday. The NBA is helping China suppress its free speech, Pence said in a speech on China policy.
The United States remains in solidarity with the pro-government and peaceful protests in Hong Kong, Pence said. The Vice President also criticized sportswear maker Nike, who has taken out merchandise from basketball team Houston Rockets in China as a result of Chinese protests.
The Chinese basketball association had renounced cooperation with the NBA team following supportive statements by Rockets manager Daryl Morey for the protest movement in Hong Kong. In addition, the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV does not want to show China's preseason games of the best basketball league in the world. Numerous NBA representatives then rowed back publicly to avoid ruining China's long-term lucrative market.