The general manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, apologized Monday for a tweet in support of the ongoing protests in Hong Kong after the team's Chinese sponsor and a Chinese sportswear maker suspended work with the team.
After Morey deleted his tweet, which read "Fight For Freedom Stand With Hong Kong," he issued the following statement:
"I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation on a complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives," adding "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."
The NBA also chimed in on Monday, declining to support Morey's freedom of expression - saying in a statement that they "recognize that the views expressed by the Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable."
The sudden reversal and knee bending caught the attention of several politicians, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who tweeted "in pursuit of big $$, the @nba is shamefully retreating."
2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke even chimed in, tweeting "The only thing the NBA should be apologizing for is their blatant prioritization of profits over human rights. What an embarrassment."