BEIJING/TOKYO (Reuters) – Chinese state television said on Tuesday it wouldn’t air NBA exhibition games played in the country this week, heaping further pressure on the U.S. basketball league after a tweet by a Houston Rockets executive backing protests in Hong Kong.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey apologized on Monday for any hurt caused by the tweet, which he quickly deleted over the weekend. Beijing, Chinese fans and the team’s partners in a key NBA market have not been assuaged, however, resulting in loss of sponsors and broadcasts in the world’s second-largest economy.
The National Basketball Association issued a statement saying it regretted Morey’s remarks, drawing criticism from U.S. lawmakers. At the same time, commissioner Adam Silver told Kyodo News the NBA supports freedom of expression – a response deemed unacceptable to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.
“We strongly oppose Silver’s support of Morey on the basis of freedom of speech and we think any…
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