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Sen. Josh Hawley calls on NBA to cancel exhibition games in China

Josh Hawley
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