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NBA to hold Bucks-Hawks preseason games in United Arab Emirates

The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022 Announcement in United Arab Emirates

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - MAY 10: H.E. Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi and Ralph Rivera, Managing Director, NBA Europe and Middle East attends during The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022 Announcement at Dubai World Trade Centre on May 10, 2022 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that the Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks will play two preseason games at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi in The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022, marking the league’s first games in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

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The NBA moved its 2017 All-Star Weekend from Charlotte because LBGT employees within the league didn’t feel comfortable attending given an anti-LBGT law recently passed in North Carolina. In 2019, NBA players in China for a preseason game said they felt unsafe in the aftermath of someone else tweeting support for Hong Kong protesters, who were trying to maintain and expand their freedoms.

Anyway, the NBA will hold preseason games between the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks in United Arab Emirates, where same-sex relationships are illegal and, according to Human Rights Watch, critics of authorities – and critics’ families – are harassed and imprisoned by the state.

NBA release:

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) today announced that the Atlanta Hawks and the 2021 NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks will play two preseason games at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, Oct. 6 and Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022 will mark the league’s first games in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Arabian Gulf.

The United Arab Emirates is one of the richest countries in the world.