Speed Reads

sports and politics

How the NBA wound up in the middle of the Hong Kong movement

Like so many things nowadays, it began with a tweet.

Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, expressed his support for the anti-Beijing protest movement in Hong Kong on the social media platform Friday; he quickly deleted the tweet, but the damage was done.

The Chinese Basketball Association, which is chaired by former Houston Rockets star Yao Ming, announced Sunday it would suspend cooperation with the Rockets, and the team's partnerships with other Chinese businesses were also damaged. There was reportedly talk that Morey, who apologized, could lose his job. The Rockets are one of the most popular teams in China, a country that has fallen in love with the NBA, so Houston's ownership clearly values that market.

As does the league as a whole. The NBA released a statement Sunday evening explaining their stance on Morey's comments.

The early reactions to the NBA's initial response were often critical, with several people arguing that the league was acting hypocritically, and that it has often ignored human rights abuses in China in favor of maintaining its fan base there.