Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey sent out a tweet in support of the people of Hong Kong in the ongoing protests against China’s Communist Party…then chaos ensued.
Here’s what we know, mixing politics and sports is like mixing ice cream and fries. Someone is going to get upset.
- A Chinese Consulate-General spokesperson told the NBA to “correct the error”.
- The NBA quickly chickened out and forced Morey to withdraw his prior statements.
- In a statement to China, the NBA quickly rebounded; they apologized for hurting the feelings of Chinese fans.
After the apologies, the NBA and Morey received thousands of messages online disapproving of the apologetic response.
- Political leaders from both sides are making their voices heard.
“We’re better than this; human rights shouldn’t be for sale & the NBA shouldn’t be assisting Chinese censorship.” — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
“The only thing the NBA should be apologizing for is their blatant prioritization of profits over human rights. What an embarrassment.” — Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke
How does it affect your wallet?
On the heels of the NBA. The NBA has become China’s most popular sports league and even has NBA stores and partnerships within China. The Rockets have a huge Chinese following mainly because of former Chinese NBA superstar, Yao Ming.
- The NBA knows it will lose a ton of money if they damage their Chinese following. They were quick to pull the Tweet, apologize to China, and make amends.
While the league says they support progressive social movements and expression, this was proof that money talks.
The Houston Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey, the NBA, and the Chinese government are going at it (digitally speaking). Morey sent out a tweet supporting the people of Hong Kong and some people were not happy.
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