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Since the time of the earliest dynasties, China has embraced authoritarian regimes, often with tragic results.
From the Guangzhou Massacre of 100,000 religious and ethnic minorities in about one year over a millennia ago to the 40 to 70 million lives extinguished under Mao Zedong, Chinese history is rife with deadly examples of living with tyranny and oppression.
But when asked about China’s human rights, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr compared them to our occasional mass shootings.
During his press conference on Thursday, a reporter asked Kerr if he has ever been asked about human rights during his previous trips to China. Instead of directly answering the question, Kerr compared the current issues in China to problems in the United States regarding gun violence.
“No. Nor has [America’s] record of human rights abuses come up either… People in China didn’t ask me about, you know, people owning AR-15s and mowing each other down in a mall,” Kerr said.
Steve Kerr on if he’s ever been asked about human rights during his previous trips to China:
“No. Nor has (America’s) record of human rights abuses come up either… People in China didn’t ask me about, you know, people owning AR-15s and mowing each other down in a mall.” pic.twitter.com/56mNC7LmID
— Sam Hustis (@SamHustis) October 11, 2019
The reporter’s question alluded to the pro-democracy protests that have swept across Hong Kong is the past few months. The NBA became involved in the issue following a controversial tweet from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. Although quickly deleted, Morey’s tweet, which read, “fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,” sparked severe backlash from China.
The tweet led to multiple apologies from Morey as well as Rockets star James Harden. However, the apologies did not prevent several Chinese partners with the NBA to suspend their business agreements.
Besides numerous historical examples, China is currently cracking down on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, subjugating Tibet, and imprisoning one million Uighur Muslims in concentration camps.