Tencent drops Celtics games after Kanter speaks out on Tibet

Chinese video-streaming giant Tencent "cut the live broadcast" of last night's Celtics-Knicks game after Celtics C Enes Kanter "posted a video voicing his support for Tibetan independence," according to Dou & Li of the WASHINGTON POST. Kanter, who is from Turkey, in a video posted on his Twitter account yesterday spoke for "more than two minutes in support of Tibetan independence, a stance that is illegal in China." Chinese social media today was "filled with angry fans calling for a boycott." In the Tencent Sports app, upcoming NBA games are "marked for live broadcast, except the games for the Celtics and 76ers, which will be reported by text and photo." The notation for the 76ers is because they employ former Rockets GM Daryl Morey, who in '19 "voiced support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters." A Celtics China fan account on Weibo with more than 600,000 followers posted on the Twitter-like platform that it was "suspending updates on the Celtics because of a certain NBA player’s social media oversights" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/21).

NBA STILL OFF STATE TV: In Hong Kong, Jonathan White noted neither of the NBA's season-opening games on Tuesday -- Nets-Bucks and Warriors-Lakers -- were "shown on Chinese state television," where the league has "largely remained absent from schedules since the end of the 2018-19 season." CCTV has "not listed any NBA games on its online schedule for the coming week," marking "eight months since the station broadcast any action from the league." CCTV showed the final two games of the delayed '19-20 NBA Finals. The broadcaster said that it had "decided to allow the NBA to return to screens a year on" from Morey’s tweet, having received "'good will messages' and Covid-19 support from the league." White notes there have been "no games shown since, despite reports the NBA would be back on Chinese television screens in March following the All-Star break," with the whole of the last season "absent from terrestrial broadcasts" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 10/21).

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