It has been almost two weeks since Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey sent out a deleted tweet in apparent support of protestors in Hong Kong, and we’re still learning the full extent of the fallout.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver described some of the ongoing repercussions of the since-deleted tweet during a conversation with Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts at the Time 100 Health Summit on Thursday.
“The losses have already been substantial,” Silver told Roberts. “Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak, and we’ll see what happens next.”
“I don’t know where we go from here,” he added. “The financial consequences have been and may continue to be fairly dramatic.”
The interview marked Silver’s first time speaking about the conflict since returning to the U.S. from China, and gave him an opportunity to clarify the league-issued statement released last week — particularly the use of the word “regrettable,” which Silver said was directed at the Chinese government’s reaction to Morey’s tweet and not the tweet itself.
Silver explained that Morey’s job was not in danger as a result of the recent events, despite pressure from the Chinese government to fire the GM.
“We made clear that we were being asked to fire him, by the Chinese government, by the parties we dealt with, government and business,” Silver said. “We said there’s no chance that’s happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him.”
“These American values — we are an American business — travel with us wherever we go,” Silver continued. “And one of those values is free expression. We wanted to make sure that everyone understood we were supporting free expression.”