It's being reported that ESPN has instructed their employees to avoid all political discourse when reporting on this situation, in order to report on the news as objectively as possible while avoiding any controversy.
In an age of free speech, ESPN is still playing its cards as conservatively as possible so as not to create a huge political spectacle involving their entire organization. There's already been plenty of fallout between China and the NBA, and the last thing ESPN executives want is to ruin their relationship with Chinese sports fans even further.
This just shows ESPN is all about the money, and we can't be surprised. They dealt with a ton of backlash in the past when their employees were outspoken on political issues and fear that type of discourse will continue to put them in a tough situation.
So much for freedom of speech, huh? Toss the first amendment out the window if it's going to cost money, right?