Now that last week's roiling between the Chinese government and the NBA has cooled down, the global-sports-industrial complex is back to business as usual , Pre-season NBA games were held in China on Thursday and Saturday and everything went off relatively smoothly (with only a few minor hitches ), and the Chinese government has thus reportedly tamped down on its rhetoric against the NBA. ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski's Chinese basketball show, Woj in the House.
It is "the most watched basketball show in the world" according to Wojnarowski's ESPN bio, but that popularity may be due to the fact that Wojnarowski is pissed off by a lot of Chinese fans and by "liking" Daryl Morey's now infamous pro-hong kong tweet before it was deleted.
ESPN's biggest NBA news breaker appearing to support Morey's tweet, which said "Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong, "barely registered in the United States" (19459003) covered the "like," that Wojnarowski was subsequently reported by "hordes of accounts" expressing their support for the Chinese government), but in China, Wojnarowski's decision to like the tweet a hot topic of conversation across social media.
Especially bothered by Yuan Fang, a former ESPN NBA reporter and founder of Fountainhead Sports, a sports marketing company in Beijing. According to Fang's LinkedIn profile, he worked for ESPN up until this year, where he worked with both Tencent's studio and editorial team and ESPN to plan the right daily mix of content that resonates with users in the China market. "
In a post on Weibo (19459003) posted on Hupu, a Chinese social media forum dedicated to sports), Yuan Fang wrote a long missive about Morey's tweet and the fact that Wojnarowski had liked it. Posted on Oct. 5, one day after Morey wrote and broke the tweet, Yuan Fang expressed sadness and anger. Morey's Weibo account and helped Wojnarowski develop his show with Tencent:
Last night I had a meeting with Americans and did not get to sleep until 4 or 5 in the morning. Right after I woke up, I saw Morey's tweet and that Woj had liked it and felt really sorry and angry! Morey writes his own tweets and no doubt Woj is responsible for his own twitter as well. I am quite familiar with both of these men, especially Morey; from the summer of 2015 to early 2019, I managed Morey's Chinese-language Weibo and posted all his content including text, pictures, comments, answers etc. He would email all this to me. He was quite clear on what he could and could not say and what ever very cautious. Furthermore, Woj joined ESPN and became my colleague. Although after the show officially went online I no longer had anything to do with it, I was always quite clear as to the nature of his personality. These two men are the absolute cream of the crop of American society. Because they have been in the world for so long, they have a huge amount of influence. Thanks to the nature of their jobs they have developed extremely meticulous and cautious work habits. They could have been hugely impacted and had a disastrous impact on their careers. Therefore, if I start to hear explanations like "I was hacked"; "I liked that by accident"; I really do not want them. "
As someone who worked in America for 10 years, including 3 years at ESPN, I can say with certainty to all that there are quite a few lot of people in America – people from the elite – who have the same views as Morey and Woj. However, America has a strict culture of political correctness. Any opinions about express black people, minorities, women etc. can have very serious consequences. Although some people like to talk about America's Freedom of Speech, there's a lot of them that are actually quite tightly censored – if you say that's against the politically correct line, you'll immediately get scammed by the entire population , In fact, freedom of speech has never been about saying whatever you want. Speech has always had to comply with the country's laws, culture and customs. Therefore, although many people are Taiwanese, that is Hong Kong, Macao and Tibet should split off, there is a certain group of Americans – especially very high-class ones do not say these things, express these things, tweet these things, "like" these things because they are maintaining a sense of respect for China with them.
In America, individual rights and values are accorded great importance, but it's true that individuals have a very close relationship with their workplace, and the views of individual represent the views of their workplace – especially those very high profile individuals. When it comes to large international organizations such as the NBA, the Rockets, ESPN etc, there are very stringent internal requirements and regulations regarding what employees can and can not say externally. In the age of social media, any "like" can represent an individual and their company.
I reckon the Rockets' boss never thought Morey would suddenly come out with a statement like this.
The reason Morey invests his own money is a company to manage his Weibo is not for the sake of the Rockets, but so that he can raise his own profile in China. Every month, he pays more than 1000 US dollars to Mailman [Shanghai sports media localization company] to manage his Weibo. Woj, meanwhile, has been in the Chinese market-facing program since last year. Woj and ESPN Woj's strong personal to the extent they are […] where shen lai le 沃 神 来 了; Chinese name for the show. WoShen 沃 神 is Wojnarowski's Chinese name; literally means something like "Wo God"]
As for the Rockets and ESPN (Woj's employer, The Rockets, after all are the NBA's "China team." Countless Chinese sponsors bring millions of dollars to sponsorship money every year; Of course, Teacher Yang [Yang Yi, famous Chinese basketball commentator] has already pointed this out.
If you want to make it even more popular A country of moneyed idiots.
ESPN flacks Ben Cafardo and Josh Krulewitz ignored multiple questions about Wojnarowski, if he was going to face consequences for liking Morey's tweet, or if the status of Woj in the House What's under threat as a result. Yuan Fang initially agreed to speak to Deadspin, but was unable to get in touch. Wojnarowski forwarded Deadspin's questions to ESPN PR. Last week, Deadspin reported on internal ESPN memo More directed directed shows and talent to avoid any mention of Chinese politics in discussions about Morey's tweet. The backlash to Wojnarowski merely "liking" Morey's tweet is the sort of backlash the company was hoping to avoid when it sent that memo.
Woj in the House that is available is online from Sept. 2, 2019 which was the first of the show's second season according to ESPN editor Kevin Wang. At least one other episode aired after that, via Wang's Instagram.
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