Sixers fan booted from National Basketball Association game for supporting Hong Kong

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a news conference before an NBA preseason basketball game between the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors Tuesday Oct. 8 2019 in Saitama near Tokyo

Basketball Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman on Wednesday offered to become the NBA's ambassador for China amid the NBA's row with the country over a general manager's tweet about Hong Kong. The NBA is enormously popular in China, which canceled the broadcast of NBA exhibition games. They don't have as much purchasing power, but this isn't just, to him, some hypothetical, oh, there could be money on the line or there might be some money on the line.

The backlash has intensified after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver defended Morey's right to free speech. They then began to voice their support for protestors in Hong Kong and were ejected out of the arena.

In an illustration of companies trying to stay onside with China, American shoemaker Vans removed some design submissions from a competition, including one apparently praising Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters.

China responded by saying it won't televise two preseason games this week in China between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets on state-run CCTV, and multiple Chinese companies have suspended business relationships with the league.

In his first public comments on the controversy, Silver late Monday spoke in support of freedom of expression. The Brooklyn Nets - recently bought by Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai - and the Los Angeles Lakers are set to clash in Shanghai on Thursday, and on October 12 in Shenzhen, just across the border from Hong Kong.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey posted a tweet on October 4, which was quickly deleted, backing the ongoing protests in Hong Kong against Beijing's growing encroachment.

In a Facebook post explaining its decision last week, the firm said it had "never taken a political position", without mentioning the Hong Kong protests or China.

The 20-team Chinese domestic league is widely viewed as several rungs below the NBA's competitive drama and quality of play and has not come close to producing a talent on par with Yao.

The Chongyang Institute fellow asserted that this distinguishing factor is part of the reason those from mainland China are being targeted and "beat up" in Hong Kong in recent demonstrations. Instead of you reconsidering your relationship with the National Basketball Association, perhaps it is time they reconsider their relationship with a totalitarian government who monitors the periods of women and performs forced abortions on citizens who dare to have more children than the state allows.

The commissioner's attempt to toe the line backfired on both fronts, as many United States citizens are saying Silver did not actually take a position, and those from China see that move as a showing of the NBA's ignorance and xenophobia.

At issue? A now-deleted tweet by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey that simply read "Fight for Freedom Stand with Hong Kong".

The basketball furore also comes against the backdrop of the U.S.

In the aftermath, Rockets star player James Harden apologized for the tweet, saying "we love China". Standing next to All-Star teammate Russell Westbrook, he added, "For both of us individually, we go there once or twice a year".

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