Yao Ming, president of the Chinese Basketball Association, speaks at a media conference, June 30, 2017, in Beijing. (MENG YONGMIN / XINHUA)
China's official basketball association said it would suspend exchanges and cooperation with Houston Rockets following a tweet by the team's general manager in support of the anti-government protests in Hong Kong.
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The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), chaired by Yao Ming, said on Sunday on its Weibo account that Daryl Morey had made "improper remarks regarding Hong Kong" to which it expressed its "strong opposition."
Morey’s post Friday night was later deleted. The team’s owner, Tilman Fertitta, said the Rockets aren’t a political organization and Morey didn’t speak for the Rockets.
Chinese sportswear maker Li Ning and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Credit Card Center also said they would suspend cooperation and marketing activities with the Rockets. CCTV Sports said it will halt broadcasting the team’s games.
The Chinese Consulate General in Houston on Sunday condemned Morey his "erroneous comments" on Hong Kong.
"We are deeply shocked by the erroneous comments on Hong Kong made by Mr. Daryl Morey," said the spokesperson for consulate in a statement.
"We have ... expressed strong dissatisfaction with the Houston Rockets, and urged the latter to correct the error and take immediate concrete measures to eliminate the adverse impact," it said.
The statement added that ending violence and restoring order "has become the widest common consensus and the strongest appeal of all social sectors in Hong Kong."
"Anybody with a conscience would support the efforts made by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard Hong Kong's social stability," it said.
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