Fri, Jun 24, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Nike ‘China Tour’ blog sparks furor

Staff Writer, with CNA

Taiwan expressed concern yesterday over an announcement on Nike Basketball China’s blog that NBA star LeBron James will “begin the 2011 China tour in Taipei.”

The Sports Affairs Council said it had already asked Nike Taiwan to explain why it describes the Miami Heat star’s “China Tour” as including Taiwan’s capital along with the Chinese cities of Chengdu, Xian and Shanghai.

“On Aug. 11, King James will begin the China Tour 2011 from Taipei and travel to Chengdu, Xian, and Shanghai over the following six days,” the post on Nike Basketball China’s Sina blog said.

Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant will also visit six other Chinese cities next month, the post added.

“We absolutely cannot tolerate anything that belittles our nation,” said Steven Chen (陳士魁), deputy minister of the Sports Affairs Council, adding that the council “does not rule out taking some measures” if Nike Taiwan does not provide a reasonable explanation.

The most serious action could be to deny the player entry to Taiwan, the official said.

Meanwhile, Nike Taiwan issued a press release on the basketball star’s visit to Taiwan without mentioning it as part of his China Tour.

The controversial blog post was later taken down and replaced with updated information, saying six NBA stars, including James and Bryant, “will launch a China Tour between July 8 and Aug. 18.”

The names of the cities they will visit had been deleted.

In related news, Taiwanese American NBA rookie Jeremy Lin, who plays for the Golden State Warriors, will also visit Taiwan on Aug. 7 to run a two-day summer camp for young players.

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