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BACKFIRE: NBA, Houston Rockets Cower To Communist China, Get Blasted Online

By  Ryan Saavedra
DailyWire.com
China Communist Party Houston Rockets
Getty Images: JOHANNES EISELE / Ronald Martinez

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Houston Rockets cowered to communist China on Sunday after Rocket’s General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted out support for Hong Kong which sparked an immediate backlash from Chinese businesses and the Chinese government.

Morey tweeted out a graphic on Friday evening that stated: “Fight For Freedom Stand With Hong Kong”

“The Houston Rockets suddenly find themselves in the middle of a geopolitical controversy that could put their chief front-office executive’s job in jeopardy,” The Ringer reported. “After general manager Daryl Morey expressed support in a since-deleted tweet for pro-democracy efforts in Hong Kong, the Chinese government, the Chinese Basketball Association, and various Chinese businesses quickly denounced Morey and moved to sever ties with the Rockets. As a consequence, league sources told The Ringer that Rockets ownership has debated Morey’s employment status and whether to replace him.”

On Sunday, NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass released the following statement:

We recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable. While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league support individuals’ educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them. We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together.

Daryl Morey also apologized for standing up for freedom, tweeting: “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 had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives. I have always appreciated the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors have provided and I would hope that those who are upset will know that offending or misunderstanding them was not my intention. My tweets are my own and in no way represent the Rockets or the NBA.”

Tilman Fertitta, owner of the Houston Rockets, said in a tweet that Morey’s beliefs did “NOT speak” for the team’s values, writing: “Listen…. @dmorey does NOT speak for the @HoustonRockets. Our presence in Tokyo is all about the promotion of the @NBA internationally and we are NOT a political organization.”

The Houston Rockets, the NBA, Fertitta, and Morey also faced intense backlash online for cowering to China’s communist government, which was responsible for the murder of tens of millions of its own citizens under Mao Zedong, and which currently has millions of people locked up in concentration camps.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) tweeted: “So let me get this straight. @HoustonRockets GM Daryl Morey expresses support for Hong Kong democracy movement & Chinese government pressures NBA to fire him? Moment of truth for NBA. Will they bow to pressure from repressive, authoritarian govt?”

“Chinese govt has a million people locked in concentration camps & is trying to brutally repress Hong Kong demonstrators – and NBA wants to ‘bridge cultural divides’? Cultural divides?” Hawley added.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted: “As a lifelong @HoustonRockets fan, I was proud to see @dmorey call out the Chinese Communist Party’s repressive treatment of protestors in Hong Kong. Now, in pursuit of big $$, the @nba is shamefully retreating.”

“We’re better than this; human rights shouldn’t be for sale & the NBA shouldn’t be assisting Chinese communist censorship,” Cruz added.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) tweeted: “It’s clear that the @NBA is more interested in money than human rights. Tonight’s statement from Commissioner Silver is an absolute joke. The NBA is kowtowing to Beijing to protect their bottom line and disavowing those with the temerity to #standwithHongKong. Shameful!”

Federalist co-founder Ben Domenech tweeted: “I hope a player, just one, is brave enough to speak out against this corporate bullshit bending of the knee.”

Famed sports analyst Clay Travis tweeted: “ESPN is set to broadcast from China this week. The woke league with the woke broadcasting network. All shilling for Chinese communists. Y’all think they’ll say anything at all? Ha ha. The hypocrisy is crazy. When the NBA pulled out of Charlotte ESPN praised them to high heavens.”

TIME columnist Ian Bremmer tweeted: “I get the @NBA not wanting to side with Hong Kong because it’s politically uncomfortable. But apologizing to the Chinese dictatorship against the democracy they’re repressing? As an American sports league? That’s unconscionable.”

Even far-left people in the media reacted strongly against the NBA, including Vox’s Aaron Rupar and former Obama official Ben Rhodes.

“This is a hostage video,” Rupar tweeted. “What an embarrassment for the @NBA.”

Rhodes tweeted: “Just consider that the NBA is suggesting that supporting democracy and human rights ‘does not represent’ the NBA or the values that the league supports. What values does the league support?”

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