Last Friday, Daryl Morey, the general manager of the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets, tweeted a graphic repeating the Hong Kong protesters’ chant,
“Fight for freedom!
“Stand with Hong Kong!”
But before I could hit “like,” he deleted it amid the massive backlash from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese companies it rules.
The owner of the Rockets, with billions in NBA business at stake, immediately distanced himself from his GM — and human rights — tweeting that, “@dmorey does NOT speak for the @HoustonRockets” and “we are NOT a political organization.”
Rockets star James Harden apologized on Chinese state television, adding, “We love China. We love playing there.”
Despite suggesting that it does not “Stand with Hong Kong,” the NBA did reiterate that “the values of the league support individuals’ educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them.”
“I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China,” GM Morey penitently explained in yet another tweet. “I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation, of one complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives.”
On Facebook, Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai posted a defense of China’s anti-democratic action in Hong Kong. “Supporting a separatist movement in a Chinese territory is one of those third-rail issues,” the Taiwan-born businessman wrote.
Let’s hope Hongkongers — for the last 18 weeks risking life and limb by demanding basic democracy, rather than totalitarian control by China — were not counting on a more steadfast commitment from Morey.
Or the wealthy owners of the Rockets or Nets.
Or the NBA.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.