Adam Silver issues new statement on situation between NBA and China
The original statement that NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued in response to Houston Rockets general manager Darryl Morey’s tweet about Hong Kong left many fans outraged, and the league is now trying to clarify its stance.
On Sunday night, the NBA issued a statement acknowledging that Morey’s tweet supporting the protests in Hong Kong “offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable.” The statement said the league respects the history and culture of China but also supports Morey’s right to have an opinion and express it, even if the opinion is not shared by the NBA or the Rockets.
The reaction to the initial statement inspired Silver to clarify the NBA’s stance with a new statement on Tuesday morning. He said he understands the original statement left people “angered, confused or unclear on who we are or what the NBA stands for” but insisted the league’s motivation “is about far more than growing our business.”
Adam Silver has issued a new statement on China: pic.twitter.com/zSu8CxQsqg
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) October 8, 2019
The protests Morey showed support for have been taking place in opposition to an extradition bill that has many in the Hong Kong area concerned about their political autonomy and influence from the Chinese government. Silver said the NBA simply cannot operate in a way that regulates what players, employees and team owners say about political issues.
The NBA generates a big portion of its business from China, which is why Morey’s tweet has sparked a major controversy for the league. There was even evidence that the NBA issued two different statements to appeal to both fans in the United States and China, which is why Silver put out a new press release on Tuesday.