Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey set off an unintended avalanche of controversy when he tweeted a photo expressing support for Hong Kong demonstrators protesting Chinese governance. Now NBA champion, Hall of Fame center and TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal is weighing in on the situation.
Speaking to his NBA on TNT co-hosts ahead of the league’s regular-season tipoff between the Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Pelicans, O’Neal admitted that Morey’s sentiment was correct.
Shaq on Daryl Morey/China "One of our best values here in America is free speech we're allowed to say what we want to say and we are allowed to speak out on injustices and that's just how it goes. and if people don't understand that that's something they have to deal with. pic.twitter.com/vefcHSPlMD
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) October 22, 2019
Shaquille O’Neal, a Los Angeles Lakers great and a league MVP before retiring in 2011, further expressed the unfortunate, unintended consequences of Morey’s tweet. However, he emphasized Morey has every right to say what he believes in, especially on matters that he deemed “not right.”
“It was unfortunate for both parties, and then you got people speaking when they don’t know what they’re talking about. But Daryl Morey was right. Whenever you see something wrong going on anywhere in the world, you should have the right to say, ‘That’s not right.’ And that’s what he did,” O’Neal furthered, per Yahoo! Sports’ Henry Bushnell.
Morey’s tweet of support with protestors occurred at the same time multiple NBA teams were in China for a couple of exhibition games, which caused concerns for the safety and well-being of the players and staff.