The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) relationship with the communist government of China has been a hotly debated topic over the last year or so. And now with reports that NBA-sponsored youth basketball camps in China have seen physical abuse levied on the kids participating, the NBA can’t hide much longer from their transgressions resulting from their partnership with a known authoritarian government.
ESPN published a report on Wednesday in which American coaches employed at the NBA academies in China alleged that the Chinese in charge of the program were physically abusing kids at the camp, while also not living up to the “schooling” portion of the agreement for players in said camps.
“Imagine you have a kid who's 13, 14 years old, and you've got a grown coach who is 40 years old hitting your kid," one of the coaches told the outlet. "We're part of that. The NBA is part of that.”
According to ESPN:
American coaches at three NBA training academies in China told league officials their Chinese partners were physically abusing young players and failing to provide schooling, even though commissioner Adam Silver had said that education would be central to the program, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the complaints[…]
The program, launched in 2016, is part of the NBA's strategy to develop local players in a basketball-obsessed market that has made NBA China a $5 billion enterprise. Most of the former employees spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared damaging their chances for future employment. NBA officials asked current and former employees not to speak with ESPN for this story. In an email to one former coach, a public relations official added: "Please don't mention that you have been advised by the NBA not to respond."
The NBA needs to be held to account if the allegations of telling coaches not to talk to the press about the abuses at the hands of the Chinese are true.
The NBA has a history of covering for the communist Chinese government.
In October 2019, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey came under fire from a large portion of the NBA, including China apologist LeBron James, for tweeting support for Hong Kong protesters in the face of tyrannical authoritarianism by the Chinese government.
Here's to China:
H/T: The Blaze