Written by Reuters
19 Oct, 2019 | 5:57 pm
REUTERS:- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said on Thursday (October 17) that the fallout following a tweet from a Houston Rockets official who backed the Hong Kong democracy protests has already cost the league substantial financial losses in China. The National Basketball Association spent years building a huge following and burgeoning business in China, a market worth an estimated $4 billion for the league, but its future in the country is suddenly on shaky ground.
The controversy began this month after Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the pro-democracy demonstrators in a since-deleted post that included an image captioned: “Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong.”
In the aftermath of Morey’s tweet, China did not broadcast or stream the two preseason games that were held in the country between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets while the NBA canceled many player appearances. “Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak,” Silver said in his first public appearance since returning from his recent trip to Asia.
Silver also said the Chinese government has asked that Morey, who was named the NBA’s executive of the year in 2018, be fired for the tweet. “We said there’s no chance that’s happening,” said Silver, who has previously stated the league would not apologize for Morey expressing his freedom of expression. “There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him.”
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