Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) and Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) accused the NBA of being complicit in “Chinese state-sanctioned abuse of children” after the league misled lawmakers on its training academy in Xinjiang, China.
“Recent investigations suggest that your organization has been aware of Chinese state-sanctioned abuse of children in its Xinjiang basketball training camps, but did not take action,” a Thursday letter from Blackburn and Rubio to NBA commissioner Adam Silver states.
“The Chinese Government and Communist Party are committing some of the worst human rights violations of our time. … History will not judge kindly those who remained silent or were complicit in the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuses.”
The letter comes after the NBA claimed in July that it “has had no involvement with the Xinjiang basketball academy for more than a year.” A recent ESPN report, however, called the statement “completely inaccurate,” with former academy coaches revealing that the training center was fully operational in spring 2019. According to the coaches, the NBA was “still seeking other coaches to move” to Xinjiang “well into the summer” of 2019.
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