NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed the ongoing firestorm that a since-deleted tweet that Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey sent out in apparent support of the Hong Kong protestors.
Speaking to Japanese publication Kyodo News, Silver said the NBA backs Morey, but acknowledged the damage his tweet did was “quite clear.”
“There is no doubt, the economic impact is already clear,” Silver told Kyodo news. “There have already been fairly dramatic consequences from that tweet, and I have read some of the media suggesting that we are not supporting Daryl Morey, but in fact we have.”
“I think as a values-based organization that I want to make it clear … that Daryl Morey is supported in terms of his ability to exercise his freedom of expression.”
On Sunday night, the NBA issued a statement, saying that the league “recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable.”
The NBA has a number of business interests in China and, as Silver appeared to admit, already seem to be feeling it in their bottom line in the wake of Morey’s bout of political activism.