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Rockets’ James Harden apologizes to China after Daryl Morey’s Hong Kong tweet

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James Harden apologized to Chinese fans after a wave of mutilation rain down stemming from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s comments on Hong Kong in a since-deleted tweet. The tweet was an image that read “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong” — a message that irked China after months of civil unrest between Beijing and Hong Kong.

Harden was succinct when talking about the matter, quickly sending out an apology without delving too much on the political aspect of it:

“We apologize. We love China,” said Harden, standing alongside fellow Rockets guard Russell Westbrook, according to Yahoo Sports.

“We love playing there. Both of us, we go there once or twice a year. They show us most support so we appreciate them.”

China was immediately reactive to Morey’s tweet, quickly pulling its sponsors from the Rockets and refusing to broadcast any more of their games.

Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous administrative region of the Republic of China, has been battered by violent protests to fight for democracy during the past four months. These were ignited by a plan to allow extraditions to mainland China — a plan that has now been scrapped — fueling the fear of an erosion of liberties in Hong Kong under the 50-year “one country, two systems” model China agreed to and adopted before a 1997 pass of the baton from Great Britain.

While the NBA won’t discipline Morey, who has since sent out a two-tweet apology for his political views — there’s no saying as it comes to his long-term job safety, given the amount of business he’s cost his team.