Daryl Morey, the owner of the Houston Rockets, recently said that he supported the activists who are fighting for their rights in Hong Kong, which is ruled by the Chinese government. This upset the People’s Republican of China, and the country threatened to stop doing business with the NBA.
The NBA apologized to China for the owner’s comments about Hong Kong protesters, who are demanding that they get the same rights as Americans. Later, the Houston Rockets owner apologized on Twitter.
In the United States, the First Amendment protects the right to free speech – but it only stops the government from telling people what they can and can’t say. It doesn’t stop other people or companies or even other countries from finding ways to punish people who say things they don’t like.
But the idea of free speech is a part of American culture. While the state cannot tell people what they can and can’t say, Americans have also supported the idea that people should be allowed to express their thoughts openly, even if nobody else likes them, without being punished by society. Companies that valued the right to free speech would not allow a foreign country to tell people that they cannot criticize their governments, but in this case, the NBA did not protect this right.
Communism and Free Speech
The People’s Republic of China is led by a communist government, and Chinese citizens do not enjoy the right to free speech. They can say what they want as long as it isn’t anything bad about the government – but if the government doesn’t like what the people have to say, they could go to prison.
Free speech is one of the most important rights that the Constitution protects. Without it, Americans would be unable to say what they want. They would constantly live in the fear that they might say something that catches the attention of the state. For this, Americans should be grateful for the First Amendment and fight hard to protect it.