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Morey owes the Chinese an apology

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨Chinaplus

10-08-2019 09:16 BJT

There has been overwhelming criticism in China against Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey over his tweet supporting Hong Kong rioters. The Chinese consulate in Houston has lodged solemn representations, while the Chinese Basketball Association, CCTV sports channel as well as Chinese sponsors and partners have swiftly suspended or terminated their cooperation with Houston Rockets.

Amid ongoing backlash in China, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has distanced the team from Morey's tweet, saying he does not speak for the Houston Rockets. "We are NOT a political organization," he stated. The NBA has also expressed disappointment over Morey's tweet in a statement, acknowledging that his views have deeply offended many friends and fans in China.

However, at this point, Morey himself has not yet issued an apology.

Morey's show of support for Hong Kong rioters not only has touched upon China's bottom line, but also runs contrary to the values of the NBA and has damaged his own image and that of the Houston Rockets.

Houston Rockets has enjoyed tremendous popularity in China thanks to Yao Ming. Over the past 17 years, the club has signed sponsorship deals with many Chinese companies. It is fair to say that Morey himself has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the club's popularity in China. However, it is wrong to assume that Chinese fans' love of the team can be taken as indulgence for caprice. Chinese fans are Chinese citizens in the first place. They won't place their love of an NBA team above their country.

Hong Kong is part of China's internal affairs which would tolerate no foreign meddling. Morey and Houston Rockets need to offer a sincere apology to the Chinese public. It would be unwise for any individual to underestimate 1.4 billion Chinese people's readiness to defend their national sovereignty and dignity.

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