TOKYO (AP) – The Latest on the NBA’s relationship with China (all times local):
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says the league “will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues.”
Silver’s statement was sent out shortly before he was to hold a news conference in Tokyo.
Silver says “it is inevitable that people around the world – including from America and China – will have different viewpoints over different issues. It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences.”
Silver also responded to those criticizing the league’s approach over the last several days, including some U.S. lawmakers.
He says “this is about far more than growing our business. … Values of equality, respect and freedom of expression have long defined the NBA – and will continue to do so. As an American-based basketball league operating globally, among our greatest contributions are these values of the game.”
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV says it will no longer air two NBA preseason games set to be played in the country.
In a statement, CCTV indicated the decision was prompted by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s remarks in Japan following a tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey last week that supported anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong.
The broadcaster is also reviewing all its cooperation and exchanges involving the NBA, said the statement posted to CCTV Sports’ official social media account.
CCTV says “we’re strongly dissatisfied and oppose Adam Silver’s claim to support Morey’s right to freedom of expression.”
Silver said in an interview with Kyodo News on Monday that the NBA supports Morey.
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