Sen. Cruz: American Companies and Sports Leagues Should Act With the Courage of Shaquille O’Neal and Quentin Tarantino

On Wednesday I applauded the courage of Shaquille O'Neal and Quentin Tarantino, who this week stood up against the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to censor the American people. In an interview with Yahoo Finance's editor-in-chief Andy Serwer, I discussed my op-ed in USA Today where he I called on the NBA, Nike, Apple, Google, and other iconic American companies to stop importing the Chinese Communist Party's censorship and oppression to the United States, as well as my recent ‘Friends & Allies Tour' to the Indo-Pacific. Watch the full interview here.

I urged the NBA to demonstrate the courage of Shaquille O'Neal, who on national television defended free speech and Daryl Morey's tweet:

"You want to talk about someone standing up and being a hero? Shaq had the courage on national television to rightly say, Darryl Morey was right and that in America our values, we believe in free speech. I think Shaq's exactly right. I think he's demonstrating courage and I think others in the NBA should follow."

I continued, applauding the courage of Quentin Tarantino, who said this week he would not recut his film, ‘Once Upon A Time in Hollywood' to appease the Chinese Communist Party:

"And, by the way, while we're celebrating people who have shown courage, we also saw someone from Hollywood do that, which is Quentin Tarantino. Quentin Tarantino with his movie, ‘Once Upon A Time in Hollywood,' the Chinese government wanted him to censor that movie. Wanted him to edit out a portion of it and Tarantino to his credit said no, he's not going to give into censorship. Tarantino's exactly right. Shaq's exactly right. And we need to see more people demonstrate the courage that Shaq and Tarantino are demonstrating."

I also emphasized the geo-political threat China poses to America's national security and interests in the region:

"China is, I believe, the most significant long-term geopolitical threat facing America. I mentioned the Asia tour that I was just on of Japan, Taiwan, India, [and] Hong Kong. That was really designed to be a "Friends & Allies Tour." It was all of our close friends, or a number of our close friends all surrounding China. And dealing with China's enhanced military aggression. You know, China is modernizing its military--they're doing so in large part with technology and intellectual property they've stolen from the United States because they employ the theft of IP as a policy agenda item. And that threat is very real. China's human rights record is abysmal. They torture their citizens, they murder their citizens. Roughly, a million Uyghurs are held in concentration camps."

I continued saying in the face of these threats, America's fundamental values should not be for sale:

"I've long spoken out against Chinese human rights abuses. What we're seeing now, though, is a more dangerous incarnation. Which is, U.S. companies, they're so desperate to make a buck in China, and I get it. Look, it's a lot of money access to the Chinese market. But we shouldn't have our fundamental values--free speech shouldn't be for sale."

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