State TV hints Houston Rockets manager 'paid price' for tweet on HKLocal | 16 Oct 2020 2:59 pm
A spokesperson for the sports channel of the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, has said that Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, who is stepping down on November 1, “would have to pay a price'' for trying to hurt the feelings of Chinese people.
CCTV suspended NBA broadcasts last October after Morey tweeted "Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong," referring to protests that Beijing had decried as separatist and seditious.
CCTV abruptly ended the year-long blackout on Saturday for game 5 of the NBA Finals, won by the Los Angeles Lakers, and now days later Morey has left after guiding the Rockets' basketball operations since the 2007-2008 season, AFP reports.
CCTV said in a statement: “We extend our congratulations to Mr. Rafael Stone, for being promoted as the new general manager of Houston Rockets. We hereby reiterate that any attempts to hurt the feelings of Chinese people would have to pay the price. Good luck to Mr Morey!"
Morey said he made the decision to pend more time with his two college-aged children, who are taking a year off from school during the pandemic, and to “see what other potential challenges could be out there," the Associated Press reports.
Morey caused an international uproar last year when he tweeted support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong. Morey tweeted an image that said: “Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong.” His tweet was in reference to pro-democracy demonstrations in the semiautonomous Chinese territory that had been mired in escalating violence between protesters and law enforcement.
The tweet caused businesses in China to cut ties with the Rockets and broadcasters there refused to air the team’s games this season. NBA telecasts in China, however, resumed during the recent NBA Finals.