Shaquille O'Neal on China-NBA dispute: 'One of our best values here in America is free speech'
The NBA and China are still at odds as the 2019-20 season kicked off Tuesday, and legendary big man Shaquille O'Neal addressed the issue ahead of the Raptors' opening-night matchup against the Pelicans on TNT.
O'Neal said "Daryl Morey was right," referencing the Rockets general manager's tweet earlier this month supporting Hong Kong anti-government protestors that led to a backlash in China against the NBA.
"We as American people, we do a lot of business in China," O'Neal said via TNT's broadcast. "They know and understand our values, and we understand their values.
"One of our best values here in America is free speech we're allowed to say what we want to say and we are allowed to speak out on injustices and that's just how it goes. and if people don't understand that that's something they have to deal with."
O'Neal said he supports the right Americans have to voice their opinions, despite how they might be received internationally.
Shaq on Daryl Morey/China "One of our best values here in America is free speech we're allowed to say what we want to say and we are allowed to speak out on injustices and that's just how it goes. and if people don't understand that that's something they have to deal with. pic.twitter.com/vefcHSPlMD- gifdsports (@gifdsports) October 22, 2019
China reportedly pressured the NBA to fire Morey for the since-deleted tweet, a report China has denied.
The season is just getting started and the tension between the NBA and China will continue to be talked about for the foreseeable future.
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