(Video) Mike Pence Rebukes The NBA, Claims It’s Complicit With Authoritarianism
Vice President Mike Pence accused the NBA of acting "like a wholly-owned subsidiary of the authoritarian regime" in China on Thursday, saying the American basketball league is "siding with the Chinese Communist Party and silencing free speech."
He also took a swipe at Nike, the NBA's official apparel partner.
"Nike promotes itself as a so-called social justice champion, but when it comes to Hong Kong, it prefers checking its social conscience at the door," Pence said.
The NBA, which sees China as a major growth market, recently came under fire in the United States after initially failing to back Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. Morey had tweeted his support for protesters in Hong Kong, sparking an outcry in China. Nike later pulled Houston Rockets merchandise from some store shelves in China, according to a Reuters report.