Earlier this week, The Biden administration announced that the United States will stage a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of China’s human rights abuses.
Bob Costas said he believes that NBA players will see the symbolic boycott as a threat to their relationship with China.
“The NBA is up to its neck in China,” Costas said. “China is a huge sports market. Basketball is especially popular there. But they will put up with not even the slightest criticism.
“Back a couple of years ago when Daryl Morey, then the GM of the Houston Rockets, tweeted ‘Stand with Hong Kong,’ Rockets games were suddenly off the air for an extended period in China. And the Rockets are one of the most popular teams there because Yao Ming was the first big Chinese star in the NBA. More recently, Enes Kanter, who grew up in Turkey, spoke out against China. Same thing: Celtics games are gone.
“I guarantee you that the feed of this conversation [on CNN] is gone.”
The former Olympic broadcaster then turned his attention to Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James:
“By the way, a lot of Nike’s goods that benefit the likes of Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James is made in China. And those outspoken individuals — and in many cases, I think millions of Americans would agree with their positions on domestic issues, but they are conspicuously mum when it comes to China, and no matter what the issues are here, and they are serious issues, they pale alongside what’s going on there.”
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter Freedom is the most outspoken high profiled athlete to call out China for their actions, which has gotten the Celtics’ games taken off the air in the country.
Kanter has also called out LeBron James for his silence and Jeremy Lin for playing basketball in the country.