Published On: Sun, Oct 13th, 2019

Election 2020: Andrew Yang attacks Chinese government over NBA, Houston Rockets

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang attacked “the Chinese government” and the NBA over the controversy regarding a tweet from Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets.

In a statement provided to The Hill, Yang said Thursday “The Chinese government banning NBA games because of a deleted tweet by a franchise employee is ridiculous. The main losers would be the Chinese fans who would find another way to watch the games. The NBA should feel confident in its position and stand up for the free speech rights of its employees.”

Andrew Yang photo/ donkeyhotey

On October 4, Morey sent out a tweet that featured a pro-Hong Kong graphic, which read: “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”

Morey deleted the tweet, and issued the following statement:

I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China. I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation, of one complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives. I have always appreciated the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors have provided and I would hope that those who are upset will know that offending or misunderstanding them was not my intention. My tweets are my own and in no way represent the Rockets or the NBA.

The Rocket’s merchandise in a Beijing NBA store is allegedly being replaced, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Nike has also begun pulling Rockets merchandise from their Chinese stores, according to Reuters.

According to SB Nation: “Tencent, a streaming service with a billion-dollar deal to bring NBA games to people in China, announced it would ‘suspend all reports/streaming’ of Rockets games.”

During a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday, Christina Macfarlane of CNN attempted to ask two Houston Rockets players if they “feel differently” about engaging in political speech in light if the NBA/China firestorm.

“The NBA has always been a league that prides itself on its players and its coaches being able to speak out openly about political and societal affairs. I just wonder after the events of this week and the fallout we’ve seen, whether you both feel differently about speaking out in that way in the future?” Macfarlane asked.

After Macfarlane’s question, a female spokesperson said the players were only taking “basketball questions.” After some back and forth about the relevance of the question, the mic was taken from Macfarlane.

Macfarlane also asked Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni if he had “a message for … [the] Chinese fans who, rightly or wrongly, may have felt let down by the NBA this week?”

D’Antoni replied that “it’s a tough situation,” and that “Adam Silver speaks for the NBA,” and because D’Antoni works for the organization, he goes “with Adam,” who he says will “do the right thing.”

He added: “You can’t answer questions like that because you’re wrong no matter what … I coach basketball. I’m not a diplomat.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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