IN CASE YOU MISSED IT… Following Letter From Sen. Rick Scott and Rep. Troy Nehls, America First Legal Petitions the DOJ to Require Adam Silver and the NBA to Register as Foreign Agents of the CCP

March 17, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, following a letter from Senator Rick Scott and Representative Troy Nehls to National Basketball Association (NBA) Commissioner Adam Silver, where they outlined concerns regarding Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda being broadcasted and promoted at NBA games, America First Legal (AFL) petitioned the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to require that the NBA and its commissioner, Adam Silver, register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act as agents of the CCP.


The evidence that Mr. Silver and the NBA knowingly and intentionally advance and advocate for the Chinese Communist Party’s political and propaganda interests in exchange for payment is longstanding and substantial. Most recently, on January 21, 2023, Mr. Silver and the NBA provided the People’s Republic of China Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qin Gang, and the Communist Party’s “China Media Group” with public relations services and a propaganda opportunity at the Capitol One Area in Washington, D.C., where a video message from the Minister of Foreign Affairs was broadcasted to thousands of fans.


Read the full letter, also signed by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), and Congressmen Kevin Hern (R-OK-01), Byron Donalds (R-FL-19), Greg Steube (R-FL-17), Burgess Owens (R-UT-04), Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05), Ryan Zinke (R-MT-01), and Lauren Boebert (R-CO-03), HERE or below. Read more from America First Legal HERE.


March 10, 2023


Commissioner Adam Silver,


We write to you with grave concerns about Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda being broadcasted and promoted at National Basketball Association (NBA) games.


On January 21st, 2023, a recorded video message from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qin Gang, was broadcasted to thousands of fans in attendance at Capital One Arena, situated at the heart of our nation’s capital.[1] While a message like this may be perceived as an innocent gesture at face value, it is a blatant exertion of soft power at a venue in the epicenter of our nation’s capital and gives the CCP a platform to disseminate their messaging to a national audience.


While Chinese New Year tributes are common across the NBA and in the United States, they have not featured prominent propagandists such as the PRC’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Officials such as Qin have threatened both the United States and Taiwan with escalation and military action.[2] In 2022, a similar night of programming took place where Qin was featured describing the strong connection between the NBA and the Chinese market.[3] It is of grave national security concern that by advancing partnerships with the PRC, the NBA only further appeases the CCP and emboldens them to further human rights abuses and threaten our national security.


In light of serious national security concerns of the NBA’s continued investment and partnership with the CCP, please respond to the following questions and explain how the NBA intends to take a stance against the CCP:


  1. Did the CCP, or any instrument of the CCP, pay the NBA to broadcast CCP propaganda during NBA games?
  2. Did the NBA willingly broadcast CCP propaganda or was this a favor conducted by the NBA? Was there threat of retribution if the NBA declined?
  3. How does the NBA intend to denounce the serious human rights abuses of religious and ethnic groups in China, and support players who speak out against the CCP?