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Rockets GM Daryl Morey's controversial tweet sparks reactions from Ted Cruz, Beto O'Rourke, others

Houston Chronicle logo Houston Chronicle 10/7/2019 Peter Dawson

A Daryl Morey tweet has sparked an international incident.

The Rockets general manager posted a now-deleted tweet Friday evening expressing support for the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. He then deleted said tweet and published a follow-up Sunday,  saying he "did not intend" to offend any Chinese fans.

JONATHAN FEIGEN AT HOUSTONCHRONICLE.COM: As outcry in China grows, Rockets GM Daryl Morey's job appears safe

Following Morey's tweet, the China Basketball Association, chaired by former Rockets star Yao Ming, publicly declared that it would suspend all "exchanges and cooperation" with the Rockets.

In addition, the NBA's Chinese partners suspended ties with the franchise, Chinese sponsors pulled their money and Chinese TV outlets said they would no longer broadcast Rockets games.

AT HOUSTONCHRONICLE.COM: Ted Cruz blasts NBA for retreating from Morey's comments

Now, across the United States, heavy hitters in the world of politics, business and culture are weighing in on a topic that covers the wide-ranging spectrum of sports, international business and politics.

Above, you can see the list of individuals across those industries who have issued strong comments on the matter, including U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, as well as Democratic presidential candidates from Texas Beto O'Rourke and Julian Castro.

Other NBA owners such as Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta and Joe Tsai also have stated their opinions on Morey's comments.

In addition, Mike Bass, the NBA's Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass released a statement criticizing Morey's now-deleted tweet, while simultaneously claiming the league would support individuals' right to publicly state their respective opinions.

"We 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," Bass said in the statement. "While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league support individuals' educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them. We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together."

Protests, which have been widespread in Hong Kong since June, initially were related to a law that would allow extradition to mainland China with demonstrations since in support of a wide range of pro-democracy issues in the semi-autonomous territory.

Peter Dawson is a digital reporter in Houston. Read him on our breaking news site, Chron.com, and on our subscriber site, houstonchronicle.com. | Peter.Dawson@chron.com| Sign up for breaking news alerts

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