Some members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat, are putting pressure on the NBA players to cut ties with Chinese companies kenned to employ slave and child labor to make shoes, shirts, jerseys, and other sports-cognate products.
Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) recently told Politico, “Americans can’t and shouldn’t conduct business with companies and players that profit through human slavery. And that includes NBA players — they can’t sign endorsement deals and benefit off slave labor.” In addition, Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) sent a letter to the NBA’s players association to get the union to urge members to tell their Chinese partners that they won’t do business with them if they employ slave labor.
Congress are looking at adding Chinese companies that boast about using slave labor to the Specially Designated Nationals list at the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. Once companies are officially placed on that list, the government can block assets from said companies from being deployed in the U.S. and bar American citizens and permanent residents from doing business with them inside the U.S.
Currently, 14 NBA players have product endorsements with these Chinese companies, including Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler, Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, and retired Miami Heat layer Dwayne Wade.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK TIMES
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