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Nike pulls Houston Rockets merch from stores in China, and social media erupts with condemnation

'Virtually signaling frauds'

NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

Nike faced steep criticism after it was reported on Thursday that the company pulled Houston Rockets merchandise in its stores in China over the free speech controversy.

Controversy erupted when the NBA shut down the team's general manager after he made a statement in support of Hong Kong protesters struggling against Chinese communist oppression.

Other protests have sprung up in defiance of the NBA stance to clamp down on speech that is objectionable to the Communist regime in China.

Reuters confirmed that the merchandise had been pulled by major Chinese Nike stores.

The NBA has a business stake in China said to be worth more than $4 billion.

Here's the response on social media

Many wondered how the willingness of the company to accommodate the totalitarian impulse from China fit with its political stand with the progressive "woke" agenda.

"Nike is very much trying to portray themself as progressive," said Bloomberg's Matt Townsend, "with the whole Colin Kaepernick campaign, giving him a platform."

"Virtually signaling frauds," responded pundit Guy Benson.

"Nike: JUST DO IT!* *by 'it' we mean whatever won't hurt the feelings of the Chinese Communist Party, naturally..." responded Steve Cortes.

"So Nike, Disney and the NBA are actively supporting communist China. One of the biggest human rights abusers on the globe. So much wokeness!" snarked YouTube personality Steven Crowder.

Here's more about the Nike kowtowing to China:

Nike Gear Being Removed From Some Shops in China www.youtube.com

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