Monday, February 19, 2007

China NFL game will kick off Olympic countdown

by Demetrius Klitou

Last year, it was announced that a NFL exhibition game between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks will occur in Beijing on August 8, 2007. This year a reminder came during the global television broadcast of Super Bowl XVI.

The deal was struck between the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol and the Communist government of China.

At the press conference announcement on September 24, 2006, the parties illustrated their enthusiasm for the huge and unprecedented event. Everything was all very exciting. It will be the first NFL game in China; it will be played at the Worker’s Stadium; and it will occur exactly one year before the opening of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

But, the parties did not veil their intentions. It was all business. NBC and its parent company, General Electric, were furthering their business partnership with China. The National Football League, a limited liability company, was setting the groundwork for a successful expansion into China. Robert Kraft, the founder, owner, chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group, a holding company with interests concentrated in paper & packaging, manufacturing, sports & entertainment, and real estate development, was representing his long-standing business relationship with China.

The NFL has already made the necessary business moves by creating, opening an office in Shanghai and finalizing a deal that will allow CCTV to broadcast Sunday Night Football live in a partnership with NBC starting this season.

China stands to gain publicity for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games by trumpeting the Olympics countdown and showing off one of their communist venues, the "Worker’s Stadium." The China Bowl serves as yet another layer of international legitimacy and support for the atrocities and human rights violations the Chinese Communist government commits everyday.

According to Kraft, "over the next two to three decades, they're (Chinese) just looking for things American."[1] However, the Communist Party will see to it that this not include democracy and human rights.

The game will broadcast live on NBC, August 8 at 8:30 a.m. (EST). I appeal to Americans to boycott this game and voice their concerns to the beneficiaries.

[1] <;amp;pid=21335&pcid=141&searchstring=>

Demetrius Klitou is a member of the China Support Network board of directors.

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