Sports and Politics: Rock Meets Hard Place
The big story this week continues to be the fallout from Daryl Morey's pro Hong Kong protester Tweet. I suspect that this will be a big sports and entertainment story for the foreseeable future. The challenge of managing fan bases that may have fundamentally different values and politics is massive and consistently underestimated. From CNN's coverage this morning... Several Chinese businesses suspended ties with the Rockets in response to Morey's tweet, and broadcasters have said they will not show Rockets games in the country. The threat to the league's business grew on Tuesday, when CCTV Sports, a division of China's state broadcaster, said it would not broadcast preseason games played in China, including one between the Brooklyn Nets and the LA Lakers later this week in Shanghai. "We believe any remarks that challenge national sovereignty and social stability do not belong to the category of free speech," CCTV Sports said in a statement. The free speech comment is a nice touch. I suspect that NBA is caught flat footed on this one because they have grown accustomed to enjoying coverage from a media that generally has the same politics as the league.