When Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted last week and supported the protests in Hong Kong, he had no idea the backlash that it was going to cause. Morey was quick to delete the tweet and apologise for hurting the sentiments of China by the damage has been significant.
The NBA has a massive fan following in China and brings in significant revenue from the Chinese market. Due to the tweet supporting Hong Kong, China decided to stop broadcasting pre-season NBA games to send a clear message to the NBA that it wasn’t going to keep quiet about Morey’s tweet. There is also talk that the NBA Preseason Shanghai tour could also be in jeopardy.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver went into damage control mode and threw his support behind China which caused another backlash as a number of senators slammed the NBA for turning a blind eye to human rights in favour of the big bucks coming from China.
A number of NBA fans have also raised placards during pre-season games showing their support for Hong Kong but they have been forcefully removed from the stands.
— Christie Ileto (@Christie_Ileto) 9 October 2019
President Trump Criticises Steve Kerr
President Donald Trump who is never shy from addressing controversial topics gave his views on the NBA-China fallout. He made some key remarks about Warriors coach Steve Kerr who has slammed President Trump in the past for his stance on multiple issues.
KPIX CBS SF Bay Area
In a statement, Trump said
I watched this guy Steve Kerr, and he was like a little boy. He was so scared to be even answering the question. He couldn’t answer the question. He was shaking. “Oh, oh, I don’t know. I don’t know.” He didn’t know how to answer the question. And yet he’ll talk about the United States very badly. But when it comes to China, they don’t want to say anything bad. I thought it was pretty sad, actually
Steve Kerr was asked about his stance on the NBA-China issue and he played it safe by saying that he did not know enough on the matter to comment. That is hard to believe given the fact that Kerr is very outspoken on political issues.
President Tump said that it was up to the NBA to work out its issues with China and said that NBA was very capable of sorting things out!