At a Nov. 15 Pelicans-Wizards basketball game in Washington, D.C., demonstrators unfurled a “Free Uyghur” banner and were predictably booted by stadium officials and Metropolitan police. Among the group of protesters was Jason Jones, who leads the Vulnerable People Project.
“That's really sorrowful, isn't it?” Jones tells American Family News. “The NBA and the Washington, D.C. police were acting as surrogates for the Communist Party of China.”
China and its communist leaders are infamous for the authoritarian state they oversee, where free speech and attending church are criminal acts in order to maintain power. Those who cross the Chinese Communist Party are arrested and tossed into a jail cell, such as lawyers, journalists, and church pastors, but the mass imprisonment of an estimated three million Uyghurs has drawn new scrutiny for China’s evil leaders and the mega-corporations in the U.S. that cooperate with them. One of those corporations is the NBA, which has witnessed professional basketball grow into the most popular U.S.-based sport in China.
A USA Today story about that business partnership, from 2019, estimated NBA revenue from China is $500 million annually. That year, the NBA signed a $1.5-billion, five-year deal with tech firm Tencent to air NBA games in China. That deal amounted to the largest business deal for the NBA outside the U.S., the story said.
So the “Free Uyghur” demonstration by Jones and others was not just to show public support for China’s persecuted people but also shamed the NBA for choosing blood money over a population that watches its games for entertainment but is not free to demonstrate in the streets and criticize their leaders.
In a related story, Jones told LifeSiteNews he stood up for China’s persecuted prisoners at NBA games because of Enes Kanter, a center for the Boston Celtics. Much to the frustration of the NBA bosses, Kanter runs the court with messages such as “Free China” and “Stop Genocide, Torture, Rape, Slave Lavor” on his sneakers.
Kanter, a practicing Muslim, has also called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “brutal dictator” in a video posted to Twitter in which he voiced support for Tibet and its people.
And how did China’s communist party respond to that lone, one-man message? The CCP ordered Tencent to remove any live-streaming of Celtics games in China.
To understand what it is like to live in China is to follow the current story of Peng Suahi, a professional tennis star. Despite her prominence and popularity, she suddenly disappeared last week after publicly accusing a powerful Chinese politician of forcing her to have sex.
“I’ve been resting at home and everything is fine,” Suahi supposedly told Chinese-owned media this week, when anybody who knows China knows she is probably in a jail cell and everything is not fine.
Steve Simon, who leads the Women's Tennis Association, told CNN this week the statement from Suahi is a "staged statement" and she must be allowed to go free.
WTA signed a $1 billion business deal with Chinese authorities in 2018 to build a tennis stadium in the Chinese city of Shenzhen.
"We're definitely willing to pull our business, and deal with all the complications that come with it," Simon told CNN, "because this is certainly, this is bigger than the business."
Asked what fellow Americans can do about China’s evil leaders, Jones urged others to join the protests with their own signs that say “Free China” and “Free Tibet,” and be willing to get tossed out for China’s people who are being tossed into a prison cell.
“Because the Communist Party of China is a menace,” he warns. “It is abusing its own citizens and it is perpetrating against the Uyghurs the greatest genocide of the 21st century.”