Updating his Instagram story today, Rudy Gobert made a reference to the Chinese government sending Uyghur Muslims to concentration camps.
Speaking about the actions of the Chinese government has cost the NBA quite recently. Only last year, Daryl Morey spoke about ‘Free Hong Kong’.
This led to the Houston Rockets being banned from telecasts in China. LeBron James spoke in support of the Chinese government and chastised Daryl Morey for his take. James was torn apart by NBA fans worldwide for his position.
Rudy Gobert’s cryptic Instagram story on the Uyghur Muslims issue in China
Uyghur Muslims are ethnically different to mainland Han Chinese people and traditions. Most of them are from a northwestern region of the nation close to Muslim-dominated Central Asian countries.
Their culture is much more similar to non-Chinese people than mainlanders.
If anyone is wonder what happened, Rudy Gobert posted this on his IG story. pic.twitter.com/OsO9xdXr1q
— Toasted (@Toasted_6) October 1, 2020
This has been cause for discrimination against them throughout the country. As a community, they are much less prosperous than the average Chinese. The government has been revealed to have put hundreds of thousands of Muslims into internment camps over the past couple of years.
Will LeBron James and NBA react?
No NBA player has spoken to the public and given their thoughts about this human rights violation. Indeed, even Rudy Gobert’s story is so cryptic as to make one wonder what he really wishes to speak on. All it says at the outset is ‘Wrong is wrong’.
Given the amount of interest and investment the Chinese public displays for the NBA, it is understandable that the league is loath to make statements about their internal affairs.
LeBron James has time and again been called out for not saying anything about the human rights issues in China, while supporting the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement in the US.
In China, who you supported over America, they can’t vote, remember that.
— Grant M (@GrantTDM) September 30, 2020
With one prominent athlete coming out and speaking about the human rights issue in China, it will be interesting to see if other athletes too come out and release statement about the same.
However, with so much riding on the Chinese audience, Adam Silver and co. might send out a private memo to teams and players about not making any public statements about the Chinese human rights issue