The NBA has postponed a press event that was scheduled for Wednesday in Shanghai following a feud sparked by a tweet sent by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey relating to the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. The briefing for the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers had been widely publicized in China.
On Friday, the executive tweeted his support for the protestors whose rallying calls include the popular slogan “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” The tweet drew severe backlash from the millions of Chinese fans.
The league, led by Commissioner Adam Silver have since issued a statement supporting Morey and his right to individual expression.
The two teams are in China and were expected to play two pre-season games in addition to participating in a series of community events giving the teams a chance to interact with their fans.
In a statement, the Shanghai Sports Federation said fan night was canceled because of “Houston Rockets General Manager Morey’s inappropriate comments and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s inappropriate remarks.”
It is still unknown if the games will proceed as scheduled.
The fate of the NBA’s partnerships with Chinese companies is also unknown.