Update at October 7, 2019 - The NBA self-censors for China
The NBA is a business - we know that. But the NBA has been the professional league in which players and coaches have had the most freedom to speak their minds about issues of rights and morality. Now, apparently, that freedom of speech stops at the Chinese border. The New York Times has the story - NBA executive's Hong Kong tweet starts firestorm in China.
Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted an expression of support for protesters in Hong Kong. This upset the Chinese Basketball Association, and some Chinese fans, who see Hong Kongers as only hooligans and destroyers of Chinese harmony. Morey's tweet suggested that he "stands with Hong Kong." He has now apologized to the NBA's largest international market. The NBA has disavowed his comment, although it did suggest weakly that he had a right to say what he said. Of course, the Chinese league commented with the old trope, that Morey had hurt the feelings of all Chinese people (who are basketball fans).