Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey’s single tweet caused substantial damage to the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) relationship with China. The tweet was nothing but an appeal to stand with Hong Kong.
Morey, last Friday, posted an image on Twitter that read "Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong." Although, the tweet is deleted, it has resulted in much loss for the NBA.
On Sunday, the Chinese Basketball Association said that it will terminate all cooperation with the NBA team. Moreover, China's consulate general in Houston also urged the team to "clarify and immediately correct the mistakes."
Even, China’s top sports channel CCTV 5, also announced that it will suspend airing Houston Rockets events on television. According to CNN Business report, more than 600 million people watched NBA games on Chinese television networks last season.
During the last season, nearly 500 million people in China watched NBA programming on Tencent platforms. After the Morey’s tweet, Tencent also said it will stop live streaming the games as well as reporting news about the team.
NBA in its clarification said in a statement, "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," the statement added.