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Rockets’ Daryl Morey issues statement about controversial Hong Kong tweet

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Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has issued a statement about his controversial tweet about Hong Kong.

Via Twitter, Morey tried to clear their air by apologizing to the Rockets’ fans about his tweet regarding the Hong Kong protests.

He noted that his tweets do not represent the Rockets or the NBA.

In a since-deleted tweet, Morey expressed his support for the pro-democracy Hong Kong protests. The Chinese government as well as the Chinese Basketball Association, and several Chinese businesses denounced Morey and moved to cut ties with him and the Rockets organization.

The tweet featured an image that stated “fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” Morey was referring to the spate of protests in Hong Kong against the legislative measure that would allow criminal suspects to be extradited from Hong Kong to the mainland.

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta reproached Morey via Twitter, noting that Morey’s opinions are his own and they are not a political organization.

China is one of the biggest markets of the NBA outside the US. The Rockets, in particular, have a huge fan base in China in large part due to Yao Ming having donned their jersey. Now, their relationship — which includes several business partnerships — may be in jeopardy.