Starting with Moreys Twitter, the NBA slid rapidly towards a major crisis.
Neither Xiao Hua, president of the NBA, nor Morleys clarification, has played any positive role in resolving the incident. On the contrary, it has widened the rift.
Why did it happen? Where will it go?
The Rockets owner responded immediately. It had nothing to do with the Rockets. It was Moreys personal statement. The Rockets were not a political organization. NBA officials issued a painless statement in which they said: We respect Chinas history and culture and hope that the NBA and sports can become a bridge, eliminate cultural differences and bring people together.
Cai Chongxin, the owner of the basketball team, published a long article on social networking website detailing the reasons for Chinas anger over the incident, saying that hundreds of millions of Chinese fans were seriously hurt.
Lets review Morey and Xiao Huas response to this incident.
I didnt mean to offend Rockets fans and my Chinese friends on Twitter, Morey said. I just expressed an opinion based on an understanding of a complex event. Since that tweet, I have had a lot of opportunities to listen and think about other ideas. He also said: I have always thanked our Chinese fans and sponsors for their strong support. I hope those who feel uncomfortable understand that offending or misunderstanding them is not my intention. My tweets only represent personal views, and have nothing to do with the Rockets or the NBA.
Moreys response was not an apology, but rather an explanation. In this response, the Hong Kong issue is only a problem for him, and he does not think it is inappropriate to express his views on such issues.
In the process of fermentation, Xiao Huas statement focused on supporting the so-called freedom of speech, but ignored what Morey said.
In a very short time, Twitters outrage turned public opinion into action. CCTV, Tencent and other NBA sponsors responded quickly. Artists who had planned to participate in the NBA China Tournament announced their withdrawal.
All this happened in a twinkling of an eye. After that, Xiao Hua came to China immediately, but the matter has not been resolved, and the activities related to the China Tournament have been cancelled one after another.
The prospects for the NBA in China are bleak.
Ignorance and arrogance with American characteristics
There are innumerable opportunities to eliminate the impact of this Twitter. Even if Morley said that his Twitter was stolen, the excuse was barely acceptable, but many individuals and groups in the NBA chose the very American way: Lao Tzu said, I am a sacredfreedom of speech. What can you do with me?
It can be said that Moreys and NBAs remarks, to some extent, represent the views of some people in American society on China, that is, ignorance, indifference and disrespect, a typical ignorance and arrogance based on hegemony.
Moreys Twitter stabbed the honeycomb and touched the bottom line of China.
Cai Chongxins statement in his open letter is relatively in place: The separatist movement in support of Chinas territory is a minefield. This is true not only for the Chinese government, but also for all Chinese people. One thing that Western media and critics of China often seriously misunderstand and overlook is that 1.4 billion Chinese people are closely united on issues related to Chinas territorial integrity and national sovereignty. There is no room for bargaining on this issue.
Its necessary to know something about history. In the mid-19th century, Britain forced illegal opium trade with China, and two Opium Wars broke out between China and Britain and France. The weak Qing government was defeated and forced to cede Hong Kong to a British colony.
... The aggression of the great powers against Chinese territory continued, and later led to the Boxer Movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In response, the eight-nation coalition forces of Japan, Russia, Britain, France, the United States, Germany, Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire invaded Chinese territory under the guise of humanitarian intervention. The eight-nation coalition marched into Beijing, the capital of China, defeated the Boxers and plundered them in Beijing.
During the Anti Japanese War, Japan invaded China and occupied Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing in 1937. The Japanese army created an appalling Nanjing massacre in Nanjing, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians. In the War of Resistance, tens of millions of Chinese gave their lives, and the United States later fought against Japan after the Pearl Harbor Incident.
I look back on these histories because those who have studied them will understand that the Chinese people have a heavy psychological shadow over any attempt to split Chinas territory, whether from home or abroad. When the topic of separatist movement arises, because of the history of foreign occupation, the Chinese people feel strong humiliation and anger.
However, Morey and the NBA apparently did not pay enough attention to these words, still in the framework of freedom of speech and muddy. Some U.S. lawmakers and politicians have also begun to take advantage of this incident to spray China, to get political capital for themselves.
As we all know, in the United States, freedom of speech actually has boundaries. Here is a representative example of watermelon.
Americans also like to eat watermelon, but only white people. Inviting black Americans to eat watermelon has a special meaning in American culture. Before and after the Civil War, the white people in the South discriminated against blacks very much. The black love watermelon became a mockery of blacks by the white people, and produced a lot of cartoons and propaganda pictures to slander blacks. After centuries of precipitation, in American culture, the phrase black people like watermelon has become a collection of negative images such as low IQ, easy complacency, laziness and running trains with full mouths.
Therefore, when entertaining blacks, you should not use watermelons, even if you have no malice. This is a consensus of American society.
Watermelon is an offence to blacks, while supporting Hong Kong independence is an offence to China. The same is true.
China has also made clear its attitude, but the NBA is unwilling to withdraw its words or make any kind of compromise, which only shows that China is not so important in their minds.
This also shows that in the eyes of the NBA, China is a money-making market. As for Chinese culture and national sentiment, I am sorry, we Americans can not consider so much.
What would happen without the NBA?
To be fair, as the worlds highest professional basketball league, the NBAs ornamental is beyond doubt. In the 1990s, the NBA appeared in front of Chinese audiences through video broadcast on CCTV, and gradually became the first choice for Chinese basketball fans to watch professional basketball matches.
From Jordan to Kobe Bryant to James and Durant, many young Chinese grew up watching their games. China has feelings for the NBA. From video broadcasting to Tencent live broadcasting throughout the season, NBA has experienced a fairly smooth promotion in China, and has made huge profits from the Chinese market.
In line with the promotion of the NBA, there are many industries in China that make a living in the NBA, such as live NBA broadcasting, game execution, player brokerage and so on. This is a fairly long industry chain. It can be said that because of Morleys Twitter, China may lose many employees who depend on the NBA for their livelihood, and the NBA will also lose China, an important market resource.
This is a double loss situation.
However, NBA is a commercial product in the final analysis. In the face of national justice and political situation, such commercial products are obviously not necessary.
In fact, the NBA has experienced three or three long or short bans in the more than 30 years of promotion in China.
The first was in 1999, when NATO, led by the United States, bombed the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia. CCTV immediately suspended the broadcasting of NBA-related content, and Beijing Cable Television also suspended the broadcasting. Since then, after the American government apologized, videos of the same years NBA playoffs have been recorded on CCTV.
On April 1, 2001, a collision occurred between China and the United States over the South China Sea. Wang Wei, a 32-year-old pilot, was unaccounted for when he parachuted and was later confirmed by the Chinese government as a victim. Without permission to enter Chinas airspace, violate territorial sovereignty and threaten national security, a series of actions by the United States angered China, in response to the cascading effect, the NBA was once again suspended.
In May 2008, CCTV Olympic (Sports) Channel received a notice from the relevant departments and urgently stopped the live broadcast of NBA playoffs. Among them, NBA politicization leads to Chinas disgust has become a more recognized potential reason.
To some extent, the NBA is a barometer of Sino-US relations.
The NBA is just one of the big powers. Moreys Twitter is the fuse. But in the background of Chinas rising and Americas insistence on ignorance and arrogance, even without Morey, there may be other thunders, even if not Twitter, maybe in other ways.
In the final analysis, China and the United States have two advantages and two disadvantages, and no one wants to see the contradiction escalate to the final irremediable. I hope the American side can face up to itself and treat themselves and others with the same respect. Chinas strength is irresistible. If we look at China from an old perspective, we will surely swallow more bitter fruits.
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This article is from Look Think Tank (ID: zhczyj), author: Ku Shu. The insights are authorized to be published.