Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri thrashed the NBA Monday afternoon for the league’s reaction after the Houston Rocket’s general manager, Daryl Morey, expressed support for Hong Kong activists.
Hawley criticized the league for not standing up for employees who pushback against what the Republican thinks is Chinese aggression. His response comes following the NBA issuing several apologies to China after Morey asked his Twitter followers to stand with Hong Kong.
“I write today to express my disgust about the position of the National Basketball Association (NBA) with respect to Hong Kong and the freedom of the Chinese people,” the Missouri Republican wrote in a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
Morey’s Friday night tweet cheering on Hong Kong activists who are protesting the Chinese government created a fire-storm. He asked his Twitter followers to “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” The missive angered league officials.
Morey eventually apologized in a statement. Houston Rockets guard James Harden issued an apology as well, telling reporters Monday: “We apologize, we love China, we love playing here.” (RELATED: James Harden Apologizes To China Over Daryl Morey Tweets)
Hawley was not happy about what he ostensibly believes is the NBA’s support for the communist country.
“The Government has sought emergency powers and deployed riot police to put down the protests, often violently,” he noted, referring to Beijing. “Police have employed tear gas, batons, water cannons with dye, pepper spray, and rubber bullets against their own people.”
Hawley added: “And as the people of Hong Kong risk their lives for freedom, the NBA offers apologies. . . to the Chinese regime … That was wrong. Reconsider.” He went on to express “disgust” that the NBA suggested Morey’s comments caused pain when the country jails “political dissidents.”
Human rights groups and government officials believe China is a major human rights abuser. Officials, for instance, say the country is responsible for imprisoning millions of Chinese Muslims in internment camps. China has also come under scrutiny for its strict censorship laws.
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