Representatives of 20 Taiwanese organizations in the Los Angeles area on Thursday demanded that the US-based National Football League (NFL) correct a map that implies Taiwan is a part of China and apologize for its actions.
The groups acted after the NFL announced in a statement on Wednesday last week that 18 teams had been granted access to 26 “International Home Marketing Areas” across eight countries. It shared a map of the world, with nations color-coded according to which teams are associated with them.
The map, which was included in a news release and posted on Twitter, has Taiwan in red, as is China, indicating that they are both the “home marketing area” of the Los Angeles Rams.
The groups, which represent the Taiwanese-American community in the Los Angeles area, expressed their disappointment with the NFL and presented demands at a news conference at the Taiwan Center of Greater Los Angeles.
They asked the NFL to recognize that Taiwan is not part of China, revise the map, and provide an explanation and apology to the Taiwanese-American community.
The NFL has made Taiwanese-Americans “extremely upset,” because the league did not give any explanation or apologize after the error or make any attempt to rectify the mistake, the groups said in a statement.
“To the Taiwanese-American community, the NFL is obviously indifferent about the feelings of Taiwanese in America and [the] rest of the world,” the groups’ statement said.
There are nearly 1 million Taiwanese in the US, with greater Los Angeles having the largest such community, the groups said.
Taiwan Center chief executive officer Simon Lin (林榮松) called for unity, and for Taiwanese to rise up when the nation is insulted and its dignity attacked.
Former Formosan Association for Public Affairs president Peter Chen (陳正義) attended a Rams home game on Tuesday.
“Have some balls,” Chen shouted at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood as he held a sign that urged the NFL not to pander to China.
Ken Wu, deputy head of the association’s Los Angeles chapter, was also at the stadium.
“Hey NFL, get your facts straight. Taiwan is not a part of China,” Wu said. “I’ve been an NFL fan for 25 years, but I’m not a fan of this map at all.”
If the NFL wants to do business with Taiwan, negotiations should be with it directly, not through China, he said.
US Senator Ted Cruz also criticized the map.
“The NFL, which is chasing dollars from the Chinese Communist Party, shows Taiwan as part of China. Disgraceful cowardice,” Cruz wrote on Twitter on Friday last week.
The NFL initiative is to grant clubs access to international territories for marketing, fan engagement and commercialization as part of an important, long-term strategic effort to enable them to build their global brands while driving NFL fan growth internationally, the league said in its statement.
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