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Daryl Morey Issued A Statement Regarding His Hong Kong Tweet And Won’t Face Any Reported Discipline

The Houston Rockets and the NBA find themselves in a precarious position currently due to the response from China to a tweet sent by Rockets GM Daryl Morey on Friday.

The tweet, which has since been deleted, voiced support for the anti-government, pro-democratic protests that have been happening in Hong Kong for months. In the aftermath, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta insisted he didn’t speak for the organization, but that didn’t stop the Chinese government, basketball association, broadcast networks, and sponsors from all decrying the Rockets and Morey, “suspending cooperation” with the team until an apology is made.

The NBA and the Rockets now must navigate uncharted waters when it comes to how they handle this. China is a massive market for the NBA and the Rockets, who long employed center Yao Ming, and neither will want to lose the revenue that comes from there. However, particularly for the NBA, which has long prided itself on being one of the most progressive pro sports franchises in the U.S., forcing an apology or allowing Morey to be fired over this sort of statement supporting pro-democratic protesters would be a bad look stateside in the eyes of many.

Fertitta was clearly not pleased with Morey’s tweet and has since been spotted liking Instagram comments calling for Morey’s firing over the issue, and The Ringer’s John Gonzalez reported later on Sunday evening that Morey’s employment status with the Rockets was being “debated” internally. However, Sam Amick of The Athletic refuted that report, citing a pair of Rockets sources of his own.

Marc Stein of the New York Times followed that up by saying Morey will not face any discipline for the tweet.

Morey, later on Sunday, issued a statement on Twitter regarding the matter.

The NBA would then issue a statement, efforting to appease all parties, noting that they regret that Morey’s tweet offended many in China, but also stating that they support those in the league speaking out and sharing their views on matters that are important to them.

As for whether that will be enough to smooth things over with China remains to be seen.

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