NBA’s James Harden Apologizes To China After Backlash From Rockets GM
NBA star, James Harden made a public apology to China amid backlash over the team’s general manager expressing support for Hong Kong protesters. Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey posted and deleted a tweet on Friday (Oct. 4th) expressing his support for the thousands of protesters. He wrote:
“Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”
Afterwards, Harden on Monday (Oct. 7th) apologized on behalf of the Rockets organization to China. During the team’s practice in Tokyo, Harden, joined by Rockets teammate, Russell Westbrook, told reporters,
“We apologize. You know, we love China. We love playing there.”
“For both of us individually, we go there once or twice a year. They show us the most important love. So we appreciate them as a fan base. We love everything there about them, and we appreciate the support that they give us individually and as an organization.”
The NBA issued its own statement on Morey’s comments saying the league,
“Have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable.”
In response, the Chinese Basketball Association and several TV providers reportedly suspended ties with the Rockets.
“The Chinese Basketball Association has suspended its relationship with the Houston Rockets after the team’s general manager expressed support for protestors in Hong Kong in since-deleted Friday tweet.”
Morey attempted to clarify the matter Sunday stating:
“I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China. 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.”
Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta denounced Morey’s tweet Friday, saying that the Rockets are not a political organization.
“Listen… Daryl Morey does NOT speak for the Houston Rockets. Our presence in Tokyo is all about the promotion of the NBA internationally and we are NOT a political organization.”
What are your thoughts about the Rocket’s GM? Let us know in the comments!