LOnly two days after releasing the sixth studio album, J. Cole Made his professional basketball debut In the NBA Basketball Africa League (BAL). Recognized as one of the most influential rappers of his generation, the Grammy winner played at the Rwanda Patriots Basketball Club, scored three points, scored several rebounds and two assists, and the team teamed up in Nigeria. Defeated his opponent 83-60. Rivers Hoopers.
The first match in BAL history, it aired on US national television and received widespread attention from the international media. The first season of the tournament was in 12 Africa, including Rwanda, Algeria, Senegal, Mali, Cameroon and Egypt. It consisted of 12 teams from each country.
But the league also has its debut season RwandaAnd the relationship between the league and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is deepening.
Kagame dates back to 1994 when he was appointed to his first political position. Extensive human rights atrocitiesAlleged ill-treatment includes enforced disappearances, assassination of political opponents, torture, and state censorship. His administration helped launch two wars in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, More than 5 million dead..
Despite his violent history and oppressive behavior, Kagame is considered by many in the country to be a national hero and a global dardardar child commanding an endless rebel army. Rwandan genocide in 1994..
Kagame gained influence in the aftermath of genocide and has remained in power since being elected president in 2000. 2014 Human Rights Watch report Since the late 1990s, he has recorded at least 10 incidents outside Rwanda, including attacks or intimidation against his critics, all related to Kagame or his party. Recently, Paul Rusesabagina, played by Don Cheadle in the movie “Hotel Rwanda,” was forcibly taken from Dubai to Rwanda. Being accused of being a terroristSince then, Rusesabagina has remained innocent.
by Howard French, The author of the next book, Born in the dark: Africa, the formation of Africans and the modern world, from 1471 to World War II, the detention of Rusesabagina was recent Forced landing of an airplane by Belarus To arrest an opposition journalist. The difference lies in the Western response to each case.
“The West has expressed anger at Belarus and its leader, Lukashenko, but has spoken little about Rwanda’s actions and, as far as I know, has not criticized Kagame at all,” France told the Guardian. “I think the Western media coverage of Rwanda is very poor. Too often, reporters are impatient to understand the complex history of the country and tell the state story about its success. Too ready to receive at face value. The capital of Rwanda, Kigari, is a very orderly place, so reporters are cozy there, as well as digging into something potentially important. I feel resistance.
In the late 2000s, especially following reports from HRW, as criticism of Kagame’s regime increased, Kagame sought to further enhance his image as a generous leader by giving his name to the sport.
In 2002, Kagame sponsored the Eastern and Central African Football Association Soccer Tournament and was renamed the Kagame Interclub Cup. In 2018, when Toronto Raptors Chairman Masai Ujiri and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver helped open the Giants of Africa Camp in Kigali, he turned to basketball. The following year, Kagame appeared in the Oracle Arena. I watched the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets playoff games. Kagame was given a ticket by the NBA and arrived with a large number of aides. Silver later told Kagame and his familyVery knowledgeable NBA fanThank you for the support of the leader.
Given that Kagame is associated with some of the key figures in the NBA, it’s not surprising that he was granted the right to host his debut BAL season in Kigali.Naturally, he wasted a little time Securing photography with J. Cole..
The NBA’s decision to allow Kagame to do business in Rwanda was made by Rusesabagina’s wife, Tashiana. What prompted silver “Rethinking the choice to host a BAL game in Rwanda.” The Guardian also received a letter from the Human Rights Foundation to Silver and demanded that he break his relationship with the dictator.
“Like any other dictator, Kagame is using your brand’s prestige to distract him from his horrific criminal history and ongoing brutal oppression. Given that, we believe we have a responsibility to keep Kagame from forming an alliance with his government, “read a letter signed by Thor Halvorssen, CEO of the Human Rights Foundation. “Basketball fans in Rwanda, Africa, and around the world are seeking leadership and inspiration from the NBA. The Kagame administration can use your global influence to commit war crimes, war crimes, and humanitarian crimes. It is highly recommended to deny the opportunity to pollute the illegal plunder of natural resources. “
Through his relationship with the NBA and his efforts in Africa, Kagame joins a long list of dictators and dictators who manipulate sports to distort their reputation abroad and promote their political agenda. This is a process known as sports washing. Given that it’s the NBA Promoted myself As a sports league that values social justice and human rights, the decision to partner with Kagame and his administration is jarring and hypocritical. When asked to comment, NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams declined to make specific statements about Kagame, but said the BAL was part of the league’s non-political efforts to promote basketball in Africa. T.
“This two-week tournament will be held in one venue in Kigali, Rwanda, in a bubble environment similar to other tournaments. NBA, WNBA, and NBA A G League event during a pandemic. The upcoming BAL season will take place in more traditional formats in continental cities and countries, “Williams told Guardians. “BAL provides a platform for growing basketball in Africa, using sports as an economic growth engine across the continent, and improving the health and well-being of one of the world’s youngest and fastest growing populations. Part of NBA’s wide range of efforts to deliver.
The NBA’s goals remain high. Fans hope that the second season of BAL will be played in a less controversial situation.
The collaboration between the NBA and Rwanda’s oppressive leaders has been a headache. NBA
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