The Houston Rockets, its owners and manager as well as the National Basketball Association (NBA) are under no obligation to apologize to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) or to Chinese for supporting freedom in Hong Kong. But they did just that, crouching down to Chinese tyranny!
Daryl Morey is the General Manager of the Houston Rockets, which is, of course, a US basketball team. The owner of the Rockets is Tilman Fertitta. On Friday Morey tweeted “Fight for Freedom Stand with Hong Kong”. A backlash immediately followed from China. But in the face of this overt Chinese attempt to shout down freedom, Morey, the Rockets and the NBA instead demonstrated unforgivable weakness, crouching down to Chinese tyranny.
The Insider noted that: Tilman Fertitta, clarified that Morey’s opinion does not reflect that of the team or the NBA; then the NBA issued a statement calling Morey’s tweet “regrettable”, and; finally, Morey on Sunday responded to the criticism and said he did not intend for his tweet to “cause any offense.”
How can it be regrettable to support freedom? There is also absolutely no offense in standing for democracy. One very laudable response to Morey’s regrettable apology was that Morey must know that he “shouldn’t have to apologize for supporting freedom”. So how do we understand this nauseating backpedaling? Money is the answer!
China’s is butchering democratic values with its money. Matt Stoller tweeted that “the [CCP] is openly punishing wealthy and powerful Americans for speaking in favor of democracy. Is anyone confused about the aims of the CCP at this point? Does [anyone] think they are just aiming to censor domestically?”
The Rockets has sponsors and partners in China where the NBA has a huge following and viewership. Following Morey’s tweet, Chinese sponsors and commercial partners began pulling out support for the Rockets and “Chinese broadcasters and streaming platforms said they would no longer broadcast Rockets games. The financial implications motivated Morey, Fertitta, and NBA going down on their knees before the CCP, in the process dragging democracy and freedom in the mud.
The NBA is American, not Chinese. Long before Chinese money, the NBA had been great and will continue to shine regardless of Chinese money. The NBA should apologize to Americans for attempting to subdue Americans, freedom, and democracy to Chinese dictatorship. During the Cold War, such brazen acts of weakness that give an advantage or edge to the enemy might even have earned the tag of treason against the American nation.