Conflict with China: NBA Edition

The conflict and controversy between American industries and the Chinese Government has just taken a left turn right onto a basketball court.

Demetrios Turk, Staff Reporter

On Monday, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted on his personal account in support of Hong Kong keeping their freedom from China.

Morey quickly deleted the tweet, but many people in China had already seen it.

Morey tried to defend his tweet at first, before posting apologies to his Twitter account saying,

”I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China. I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation of one complicated event… I have always appreciated the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors… My tweets are my own and in no way represent the Rockets or the NBA.”

The backlash was swift, with the Rockets considering firing the executive, and China responding to the tweets.

China cancelled two NBA Cares fan events, one with players from the Lakers and one with players from the Nets.

The Chinese athletic brand Anta has announced that they will be cancelling attempts to retain endorsements contracts with Klay Thompsan, Gordan Hayward, and Rajan Rondo.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, has come out in support of Morey and his right to free speech.

“I want to be clear, and I think there’s been some confusion around this: We are not apologizing for Daryl exercising his freedom of expression.” Silver said.

The NBA will still play two Chinese sponsored games, which have been set to play in China, but China is refusing to broadcast the games. Morey remains the general manager of the Rockets at this time.

Demetrios Turk