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Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support of the Hong Kong protests over the weekend, which then led to geopolitical backlash.
Morey's tweet, which has since been deleted, was posted on Friday evening and it showed a picture that said "Fight for Freedom. Stand for Hong Kong."
Following the tweet--which quickly sparked criticism--Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta clarified that Morey was not speaking for the Rockets.
Then, on Sunday, Morey tweeted out an apology.
However, the Chinese government, the Chinese Basketball Association, and other Chinese businesses have since severed ties with the Rockets.
According to the NBA's website, "We value individuality and diversity and are courteous to each other, to our fans and our business partners. We will do our utmost to ensure that everyone feels welcome at our games, our events, and our workplace."
NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement: "We recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable. While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league support individuals' educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them. We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together."
Over on Weibo, the Chinese micro-blogging site that is very similar to Twitter, the NBA posted a different statement in Chinese.
According to multiple reports, the NBA said it was "extremely disappointed" by Morey's "inappropriate" tweet about Hong Kong, adding that the original tweet "severely hurt the feelings of Chinese fans."
Jim Cramer breaks down his thoughts on the story and the "craven nature" of the NBA.
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