file photo from Washingtonpost.com: In this April 19, 2011, file photo, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey discusses the direction of the team with the media during a basketball news conference, in Houston, after the decision to part ways with NBA basketball head coach Rick Adelman. Morey tried Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019 to defuse the rapidly growing fallout over his deleted tweet that showed support for Hong Kong anti-government protesters, saying he did not intend to offend any of the team’s Chinese fans or sponsors.
By Amaury Pi Gonzalez
China’s mad over tweet by Rockets GM: A political triangle has the NBA’s Houston Rockets apologizing over a tweet by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong” as soon as that tweet was known China ended its relationship with the Houston Rockets and sponsors pulled out of all radio advertising in China.
The Rockets are the most popular team in China because of its relationship with former NBA player Yao Ming. The Rockets’ James Harden and Russell Westbrook quickly tried to go into damage control.
“We apologize, we love China. We love playing there. Both of us, we go there once or twice a year. They show us most support so we appreciate them,” said Harden.
The Chinese response was too late for the Rockets as a Chinese statement read, “Deeply disappointed by the inappropriate remarks.” Hong Kong has been protesting for the last four months about China having the ability to use extradition any Hong Kong citizen if they are wanted for any crime, espionage, or whenever deemed necessary to extradite a Hong Kong citizen when necessary.
Texas representative and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has said that the apology from the Rockets and the NBA is an embarrassment. That the NBA and the Rockets should stand pat on Hong Kong standing up to China and protesting extradition of any Hong Kong citizen and not to cave to China.
The Rockets and the NBA are in panic mode now as the league could face losing millions of dollars in revenue in NBA properties, NBA paraphernalia, and NBA branding not to mention their broadcast rights in China. The NBA and the Rockets have apologized but it may be a little too late as the Hong Kong issue is an extremely sensitive issue to China.
Oakland A’s consider getting rooted in Las Vegas: Sources say that baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is getting tired of the situation that’s gone back and forth between the city of Oakland and the A’s There has been a lot of posturing between the A’s and the city regarding how to get started on working the land at Jack London Square the A’s were in discussion with the City Manager on Tuesday the day before the A’s wild card game with Tampa Bay. 90 minutes after the meeting with the city manager, Kaval found out the city was suing the A’s to stop them from developing at the Coliseum.
When the city handed the A’s a lawsuit on Tuesday to stop the team from developing on the Oakland Coliseum site, it baffled A’s team president David Kaval, who has been very guarded with his statements about the lawsuit. Kaval has been the spearhead of the new stadium for the A’s and for a brief moment it looked like the A’s were going to work something out with the city, but the city council are split on the A’s getting a downtown stadium. To clarify, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff and City Council president Rebecca Kaplan are both not on board with suing the A’s.
Because of the lawsuit, Kaval and the A’s are regrouping and considering something they never thought they would and that’s moving the A’s out of town to Las Vegas. Fighting the city of Oakland is not on the A’s radar and it will be a sad day when the A’s make the official announcement that it’s over in Oakland. The A’s triple-A team, Las Vegas Aviators, are playing near the Vegas strip.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio talent for the Oakland A’s on 1010 KIQI San Francisco and on http://www.sportsradioservice.com for News and Commentary.