By Jeffrey Winkler and Jon Nagle
On October 4th at 7:41 PM, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted an image supporting the citizens of Hong Kong who are fighting for freedom from the Chinese government. This tweet was quickly deleted, and Morey apologized for his actions. Despite the apology, China canceled the streaming of all Houston Rockets games in China. This further extended to China’s television network, the CCTV, refusing to stream any NBA preseason games. China also told NBA commissioner Adam Silver that Morey must be fired and completely removed from all interactions with the league, which the NBA refused to do.
Many players and league officials also voiced their opinions on the issue. Players such as Lebron James criticized Morey’s actions calling him “misinformed and not really educated” on the China issue. James further claimed that Morey’s tweet could have hurt people, not only financially but physically, emotionally and spiritually. While James chose to express his opinion to the public, the Warriors' star point guard Stephen Curry decided to stay silent on the matters. “I don’t know that history well enough to speak on it to form an opinion yet, so that’s kind of where I’m at with this situation,” he said.
To prevent further controversy NBA commissioner Adam Silver cut off media access to players during their China trip. NBA sports fanatic Nick Arnone says that “ In the past, members of the league haven’t been criticized for political talk, such as Lebron criticizing President Donald Trump. But now that the political talk may cost the league money, Daryl Morey is heavily criticized by the media and the league.” Many people in this Nation share the same beliefs as people such as Arnone. The majority of the Nation believes that the NBA does not care about doing what is right but would rather do whatever makes them the most money, and these people have been voicing their opinions through social media.
However some fans have come out and criticized Morey for his comments, Charlie Robinson says, “Morey was very ignorant in his comments on the China issue. Morey didn’t even stop for a minute to think about how his comment could affect the league”. The sentiments of people such as Robinson are very hard to find outside of NBA players and league officials. This is because of the largely ignored fact that China makes up ten percent of the NBA’s revenue and without China the salary cap will drop leading to lower pay for the players and officials in the league.