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Josh Hawley. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver condemning the league's decision to apologize to the Chinese government for a tweet by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey that expressed support for pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong.

"I write today to express my disgust about the position of the National Basketball Association (NBA) with respect to Hong Kong and the freedom of the Chinese people. Doing business in China is one thing, but for the NBA to kowtow to the demands of one of the world's most brutal regimes in the pursuit of profit is, frankly, revolting. You know better. And the people of this country deserve better."

The big picture: Hawley is one of a number of high-profile politicians and commentators who have directed criticism toward the notably progressive NBA after Silver issued a statement saying that the league recognizes Morey's comments "have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable."

  • The Chinese government, the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and multiple Chinese businesses have severed ties with the Rockets as a result of the tweet.
  • Hawley called on the NBA to apologize to Morey and "cancel all exhibition games in China pending a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Hong Kong."
"Remember that some things are more important than money. Remember your responsibility. You may not think of your league as an American undertaking, but whatever you think, what you say and do represents America to the world. "

Go deeper: The NBA's geopolitical crisis with China started by a single tweet

Go deeper

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, left, and Sen. Chuck Grassle (R-Iowa) look out into the crowd at a "Dole for President" rally at Hy-Vee Foods corporate office in Des Moines on April 13. Photo: J. DAVID AKE/AFP via Getty Images

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record,

Former Sen. Bob Dole dies

Former Sen. Bob Dole in 2019. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole passed away Sunday morning at the age of 98, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced in a statement.

Driving the news: Dole, a revered figure in U.S. politics and the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, served in the Senate for 27 years, including 11 years as GOP leader. Earlier this year he revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.