NBA Spokesperson Refuses To Address ‘China Free Speech Issue’ With The Press
It’s been a rough week for the NBA and as reporters from the MSM and other outlets asked for clarification, they were shot down. The incident happened at a Houston Rockets press conference.
The NBA says that the players should only talk about the game and the on court activities. There was a press conference held in Tokyo, Japan after the Rockets victory 118-110 over the Toronto Raptors.
Christina Macfarlane of CNN posed the following question to both Harden and Westbrook. She asked, “The NBA has always been a league that prides itself on it’s players and coaches being able to speak openly about political and societal affairs. I wonder after the events of this week, and the fallout we’ve seen, whether you feel differently about speaking out in the future”.
At that time, a voice not seen on camera, said ‘we are taking basketball questions only’. Macfarland wasn’t having it, she said it was a legitimate question. A spokesperson with the team told her. ‘the question has been asked and answered’. Both Harden and Westbrook looked over to the team spokesperson, and remained silent.
The NBA Press Conference Continued With A Large Unseen Elephant In The Room
The situation become extremely awkward, as the team was peppered with more questions. As the criticism started the team issued an official statement. It read, “During today’s media availability a team representative interjected inappropriately. It stopped CNN’s Christina Macfarlene from being able to get an answer to her question. We have apologized to Ms. Macfarlene as this was inconsistent with how the NBA conducts media events”.
A spokesperson for the team also added that players can be asked any questions. The dust up started earlier in the week when Rockets General Mangager Daryl Morey Tweeted his support for the demonstrations in Hong Kong.
Tilman Fertitta the owner of the Rockets put the brakes on and started damage control, by distancing himself from Morey.The NBA has secured a billion dollar relationship with China, and now a few sentences on tweet puts it all in jeopardy.
The Wizards Have Been Confiscating ‘Free Hong Kong’ Signs At Wizard Games
On Wednesday fans that showed up for a Washington Wizard game wearing ‘Free Hong Kong’ T-shirts had the them confiscated. Security told the fans, they had two choices go in without the shirts, or leave and forfeit their tickets.
The fans said the shirts were their way of supporting the very aggressive anti government protests going on in Hong Kong. In another incident this week on Tuesday fans at a Philadelphia 76ers game, were carrying hand made ‘Free Hong Kong signs were ejected from the arena.
The game in Washington was against the Chinese basketball team, Guangzhou Loong-Lions. One of the men carrying the sign was told to throw the sign away or leave, he elected to leave.
Patrick Hedger, 29, of Alexandria, Virginia was at the game, wearing one of the T-shirts. He said ‘he just had to do something to relay his support for the protesters’.