Houston Rockets gear went missing on Nike’s Chinese website after Rockets’ general manager Daryl Morey sent a tweet in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
The Rockets are the only NBA team absent from Nike’s Chinese home page for NBA apparel. The other 29 teams are all featured on the page.
As of Sunday — the same day NBA Commissioner Adam Silver apologized to China for Morey’s Oct. 4 tweet — the Rockets were still featured on the list of teams, according to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.
Nike China’s home page for Rockets apparel disappeared from the site as well, as first pointed out by sports blog FadeAway World. Nike is the NBA’s official apparel partner.
A Nike spokesman reached on the phone instructed the Daily Caller News Foundation to submit a request for comment via email. “I won’t have any answers for you, but if you send an email I’ll send that over to the right team,” the spokesman said, when pressed on why he couldn’t take any questions.
Nike didn’t return the DCNF’s emailed request for comment by press time, but following the DCNF’s inquiry, the Rockets’ apparel page was restored and now includes a single James Harden jersey. Harden previously apologized to China for Morey’s tweet.
Nike previously faced criticism after removing a shoe line in June, in response to the shoes’ designer expressing support for Hong Kong protesters.
China’s communist government, which is known to enlist private companies in censoring anti-regime messages, has taken steps to penalize the NBA for Morey’s tweet, despite Silver’s apology. (RELATED: Elite American Institutions Keep Bowing To Communist China… Over And Over Again)
Eleven Chinese companies severed their partnerships with the NBA in response to Morey’s tweet.
China also cancelled plans to broadcast two NBA pre-season games scheduled to take place in the communist country. China’s state TV network, which was slated to air the games, issued a statement saying it was “extremely dissatisfied” with the NBA’s response to Morey’s tweet.
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