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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

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
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The winners and losers of the pandemic holiday season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.

Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10 percent in the final week before Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.

Why it matters: Travel and large holiday celebrations are most dangerous in places where the virus is spreading widely — and right now, that includes the entire U.S.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.