Jazz Gobert Shares Support For Uyghur Muslims In China
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Rudy Gobert shared his support for Uyghur Muslims in China on Instagram Thursday. The Utah Jazz center is the first big name from the NBA community to speak out against the human rights violations in China since Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey shared a tweeted supporting protestors in Hong Kong last October.
Morey’s tweet caused a rift between the league and the country before a preseason game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors that was played in China.
Gobert shared a viral post from French actor Omar Sy condemning the government in China which has been accused of detaining several hundred thousand Uyghurs and sending them to “re-education camps.”
“Millions of Uyghur Muslims are detained and tortured in concentration camps in China,” The caption for the post read. “Not for what they do, but for who they are. It is the largest mass incarceration of the 21st century. It has to end. #FreeUyghurs.”
Gobert added the text “wrong is wrong” over the solid aqua post. Sy, who made the original post Wednesday, is Muslim.
The French actor has been an outspoken activist on human rights issues on his Instagram page. Sy has shared posts supporting Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was chased down and killed by two white men in Georgia.
In May, Sy shared a portrait of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by Derek Chauvin, then an officer for the Minneapolis police department. Chauvin has since been fired and charged with second and third-degree murder.
“Justice for George Floyd, for all victims of police violence and their families,” Sy captioned the post. “Injustice whatever it is, wherever it is, where it comes from, is a threat to justice EVERYWHERE and for ALL.”
Gobert has also been outspoken in support of human rights both in the United States and abroad.
NBA Trying To Address Issues in China
Last week NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed the league’s presence in China on CNN with broadcaster Bob Costas.
After Morey’s October tweet, NBA broadcasts were pulled from the Chinese Central Television system which accesses more than a billion viewers worldwide. The tweet resulted in millions of dollars in losses for the NBA.
Morey walked back the tweet, but much of the financial damage was already done. Then, after backing off from the stance, the NBA was criticized heavily by politicians and activists for “kowtowing” to China.
“There are definitely trade-offs there,” Silver said of the NBA’s continued relationship with China. “And somebody could say given the system of government in China, the NBA should make a decision not to operate there. I would only say that at the end of the day, I think those are decisions for our government in terms of where American businesses should operate.”
Despite the ongoing criticism from politicians at home, Silver said he believes the league’s presence in China can be good for international relationships.
“Until very recent history, at the encouragement of the State Departments of various administrations on both sides of the aisle, it was viewed as a really positive thing that we were exporting American values to China through the NBA.”