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Florida senator Rick Scott slams league for decision to show Finals in China

LeBron James, Jimmy Butler, Anthony Davis, Bam Adebayo, Lakers, Heat, NBA Finals, China

Florida senator Rick Scott is not thrilled that the 2020 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat is still being broadcasted in China.

In a tweet on Friday, the 67-year-old Republican politician aired his disgust for the league’s decision to still side with China despite their government’s supposed numerous human rights violations.

“Tonight’s game demonstrates the NBA’s refusal to stand for human rights and instead choose to please the Communist Party of China for profits. This is shameful,” he wrote.

Per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, China’s CCTV televised Game 5 — the first NBA game in broadcast television there in more than a year. The relationship between the NBA and China soured last year when Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted in support of Hong Kong during the 2019-20 protests.

The league had to make several gestures of goodwill just to get back in China’s good graces.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, meanwhile, has been praised for his all-out support of the Black Lives Matter movement ever since the resumption of the season inside the bubble. However, he’s also been called out by some parties for his supposed double-standard in terms of handling the China situation.

The 2020 NBA Finals has already experienced a major dip ratings-wise, and losing China’s viewership will certainly hurt the league even more. China, after all, is the NBA’s biggest Asian market and holds is holds one of its largest fanbases overall.

It is also worth noting that the Chinese government already removed all Rockets-related merchandise from its stores and has banned the airing of all Houston’s games.