In the latest example of the National Basketball Association (NBA) undergoing scrutiny due to its close ties with China, the organization has been revealed to be doing business with a shady Chinese company that has been accused of producing goods with forced labor from Uyghur Muslims, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The Chinese company in question is Anta Sports, the largest sportswear brand in all of China. Anta specifically relies on cotton from the Xinjiang region of China, which also happens to be one of the major hubs of systematic incarceration, indoctrination, and forced labor for Uyghur Muslims. Together, the NBA and Anta sell at least two different kinds of basketball shoes, with one of the shoes selling for up to $120 per pair in the United States.
The Xinjiang region, however, has seen more than one million Uyghurs removed from their homes and sent to concentration camps, known as “reeducation camps,” and are forced to do manual labor on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and other Chinese entities. Through such labor, Xinjiang produces approximately 85 percent of all cotton in China, and around 20 percent of the world’s supply of cotton.
Basketball player LeBron James posted, then deleted, a tweet attempting to single out an officer from the recent police shooting in Columbus, Ohio, in which he tried to rally his supporters to dox and retaliate against the officer in question, as reported by Fox News.
James, who plays on the Los Angeles Lakers, posted a tweet featuring a screenshot from the bodycam footage of the incident, which took place on Tuesday. The footage showed the entirety of the chaotic scene as police arrived to break up a fight between two black teenage girls. One of the girls, 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant, was armed with a large knife and was preparing to stab another girl after shoving her up against a car. After multiple verbal warnings from police to drop the knife, the officer wearing the bodycam fired several shots, killing Bryant and saving the other girl’s life.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) confirmed in a letter to a member of Congress that it is in the midst of “ongoing business discussions” with a television network that is operated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
In a letter sent to Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on March 30th, NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum explained that the organization is negotiating with China Central Television (CCTV), which is the leading television network for CCP propaganda. Although the NBA has not yet finalized a deal for the 2021, Tatum said that an “active role” is being played in the negotiations by Michael Ma, the CEO of NBA China, whose father once served as a lead executive for CCTV’s sports division.
CCTV specializes in airing pro-CCP propaganda, including forced confessions of political dissidents such as journalists and human rights activists, while also negatively covering the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong by comparing them to the Islamic terror group ISIS. It has also described Chinese-run concentration camps for Uyghur Muslims as “vocational centers.”
The National Basketball Association is remaining quiet on the issue of Chinese slave labor, despite new revelations about the nature and sizeUighur Muslim labor camps.
In 2018, three Uyghur regions alone mobilized at least 570,000 laborers into cotton-picking through the government’s forced labor training and transfer scheme, according to a new Center for Global Policy report. When BBC reporters tried to visit the region to document its “huge industrial expansion” a number of unmarked cars followed them as they filmed the perimeter of the complex when officials stopped them from filming and they were forced to leave.