NBA GM tries to clarify Hong Kong tweet after protest:The Asahi Shimbun

NBA GM tries to clarify Hong Kong tweet after protest:The Asahi Shimbun

"I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation, of one complicated event", his assertion learn.

The league released a statement ceding that Morey's tweet - which included a graphic reading "Fight For Freedom". Hong Kong's leader pledged last month to withdraw the legislation.

"As U.S. -China relations deteriorate and both sides sort of move into this nationalistic crouch, the difficulty of speaking to broad audiences in both the United States and China without offending at least one of them is extremely hard", Kennedy said. The NBA and the owner of the Rockets, Tilman Fertitta, were fast to attempt damage control, with the NBA calling Morey's tweet regrettable and Fertitta insisting that Morey does not speak for the team.

In response to Morey's post, Tencent's online sports channel and state-owned broadcaster CCTV Sports announced they would suspend broadcasting of Rockets games.

The Chinese-language post on the Twitter-like Weibo microblogging platform differed from the original statement in English by Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass.

"We're here to concentrate on playing in Japan, playing great games and enjoying the culture of Japan", he said as the Rockets prepared for two exhibition games against National Basketball Association champions Toronto Raptors in Saitama City. "We appreciate the support that they give us".

The league issued a weak statement that mostly genuflected toward China and partially supported Morey sharing his views.

"For those who choose also to engage, they'll see that we are dealing with a complex set of issues".

But the coach backpedalled after a fierce criticism from Chinese fans, sponsors and commercial partners.

Daryl Morey tweeted late Sunday evening, saying he did not mean to cause any offense to Rockets' fans in China.

There have been some reports in the U.S. media that Morey's job is now in jeopardy. Tencent Holdings represents the NBA's largest digital partner outside the United States and struck a deal to stream games and other league programming in China reported to be worth $1.5 billion.

The Chinese Basketball Association, chaired by former Rockets star Yao, said it was suspending "exchanges and cooperation" with the team.

It's popularity exploded in part because of Yao, who was born in Shanghai and played for the Rockets from 2002 to 2011. Hupu, a sports news website, has likewise suspended all coverage of the Rockets and locked the section of its website previously dedicated to the team.

As the situation in Hong Kong intensifies, businesses have been increasingly caught in the crosshairs.

"I have always appreciated the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors have provided", Mr Morey said. Castro added that america "must lead with our values and speak out for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, and not allow American citizens to be bullied by an authoritarian government".

The Rockets and the National Basketball Association in the USA distanced themselves from the tweet.

Beto O'Rourke, a Democratic presidential hopeful also from Texas, described the NBA's reaction as "an embarrassment". It has unraveled, however, into an global incident that has caused outrage on two continents and left the NBA-ever-conscious of its image as an agent for social justice-groveling for forgiveness from angry Chinese fans and officials.

The NBA reacted. Morey deleted the tweet shortly after it was sent and apologized.

Joe Tsai, the executive vice chairman of Chinese tech giant Alibaba and owner of the Brooklyn Nets NBA franchise, sought to defuse the tensions.

He said it had "made stern representations to the Rockets and requested them to clarify, to immediately correct any mistakes, and to eliminate any negative influences".

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