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NFL takes knee for China by including Taiwan in map

Ted Cruz describes NFL's inclusion of Taiwan on China map 'disgraceful cowardice'

NFL map of "International Home Marketing Areas" that includes Taiwan as a part of China. (Twitter, NFL345 image)

NFL map of "International Home Marketing Areas" that includes Taiwan as a part of China. (Twitter, NFL345 image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The NFL on Wednesday (Dec. 15) released a map that includes Taiwan as part of China, which it has designated as the international home market for the Los Angeles Rams.

On Wednesday, NFL Communications announced that it has created "International Home Marketing Areas (IHMA) for 18 of its 32 teams. The scheme provides teams access to "international territories for marketing, fan engagement, and commercialization."

Under the IHMA program, teams will be given access to international markets for five years. During this period, the teams can engage in activities similar to in their home market in the U.S., such as marketing, corporate sponsorships, fan events, youth football events, merchandise sales, and co-marketing relationships with other sports and entertainment firms in the market.

The NFL plans to enable all 32 of its teams to play at least one game overseas over the next eight seasons. The league pledged that it will "use its efforts" to ensure that teams will be able to play their international games in their international home market.

In a map included in a tweet announcing the new initiative, China was designated as the IHMA for the Los Angeles Rams. However, the crimson map of China erroneously includes Taiwan, apparently making that country also the default home market for the Los Angeles Rams.

Senator Ted Cruz on Wednesday evening retweeted the NFL announcement and criticized the league for "chasing dollars from the Chinese Communist Party" by showing Taiwan to be a part of China. He then described the NFL's actions as "disgraceful cowardice."

Many netizens also criticized the NFL for kowtowing to Beijing:

"Ummm... Feels like the Taiwanese might have concerns about their Rams fandom. And, like, other stuff."

"We accidentally made an entirely separate country consisting of 24 million people a part of china oopsie our bad"

"They couldn't care less about the Taiwanese market. They did this to win the Chinese market. Otherwise no one in China would care about the sport."

"You think China would allow the NFL to market there if they did otherwise?"

What history? It is a fact that Taiwan is not part of the PRC (China).

"Someone made a mistake! Taiwan isn’t part of China."

"If they're interested in marketing to the PRC then absolutely Taiwan is part of China. There would have been hell to pay from the CCP if they didn't. I agree in general that Taiwan isn't part of China. Just saying they did it very intentionally."

"Was this map made by the refs, per chance?"

"Suckin' up to the slavers and screwing one of our close allies. It's all about the ducats."

The NFL has yet to respond to a request for comment.