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General Manager Daryl Morey of the Houston Rockets.

Bill Baptist | National Basketball Association | Getty Images

Houston Rockets common supervisor Daryl Morey apologized on Twitter over a now-deleted tweet that spoke in assist of the Hong Kong protests, after his remarks had been attacked by the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston and the Chinese Basketball Association.

Morey’s apology underscores the problem American corporations face once they wish to do enterprise inside China’s large financial system, however cannot run the danger of claiming something that may upset the nation’s autocratic authorities.

“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,” Morey tweeted on Sunday.

“I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China,” he added.

According to the Associated Press, Morey’s unique, deleted tweet learn: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”

His apology had drawn greater than a thousand replies as of 10 a.m. Monday Hong Kong time (10 p.m. Sunday ET), most of them urging him to not apologize.

Thousands of Hong Kongers have protested for 4 months over nervousness about Beijing’s creeping affect over the town, which the British handed over to China in 1997. Those protests have develop into more and more violent.

The National Basketball Association is now China’s hottest sports activities league and has shaped partnerships with a number of the nation’s greatest tech corporations. It additionally opened NBA retail shops there.

China consulate to Rockets: ‘Correct the error’

A Chinese Consulate-General spokesperson in Houston attacked the tweet and “urged” the Rockets to “correct the error.”

“We are deeply shocked by the erroneous comments on Hong Kong made by Mr. Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets. We have lodged representations and 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,” the spokesperson stated on Sunday.

The Consulate-General in Houston is an extension of the Chinese diplomatic mission within the United States.

Morey’s preliminary tweet additionally drew condemnation from the Chinese Basketball Association. “The Chinese basketball association has expressed strong opposition to the remarks, and will suspend communication and cooperation with the Houston Rockets club,” the group stated on Sunday on its Twitter-like Weibo account, per a CNBC translation.

The present chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association is Yao Ming, who used to play for the Houston Rockets.

Rockets proprietor Tilman Fertitta publicly rebuked Morey for the tweet. He stated on Twitter that Morey “does NOT speak for the @HoustonRockets” and that they’re “NOT a political organization.”

The NBA stated the next in an announcement:

We acknowledge that the views expressed by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have offended so lots of our mates and followers in China, which is regrettable. While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet doesn’t symbolize the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league assist people’ educating themselves and sharing their views on issues essential to them. We have nice respect for the historical past and tradition of China and hope that sports activities and the NBA can be utilized as a unifying drive to bridge cultural divides and convey individuals collectively.

The Associated Press and CNBC’s Grace Shao contributed to this report.

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