The Houston Rockets’ owner took to Twitter on Friday night to address the controversial tweet from his team’s general manager, Daryl Morey.
A tweet – that was later deleted – from Morey went viral on Friday evening.
Morey posted a tweet in support of protesters in Hong Kong. The deleted tweet read “Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong.” and included an image.
Houston’s owner, Tilman Fertitta, took to Twitter on Friday evening to address it.
Listen….@dmorey does NOT speak for the @HoustonRockets. Our presence in Tokyo is all about the promotion of the @NBA internationally and we are NOT a political organization. @espn https://t.co/yNyQFtwTTi
— Tilman Fertitta (@TilmanJFertitta) October 5, 2019
Fertitta told ESPN he felt he needed to distance the Rockets’ organization from the tweet from his general manager.
“I have the best general manager in the league,” Fertitta said. “Everything is fine with Daryl and me. We got a huge backlash, and I wanted to make clear that [the organization] has no [political] position. We’re here to play basketball and not to offend anybody.”
Hong Kong has been home to major protests this year, which stems from “a proposal that would have allowed extradition from the semiautonomous territory to mainland China.”
The Rockets are among the NBA’s most-popular teams in China and have had a huge fan base in the country since drafting Yao Ming.
Houston is set to take on the Toronto Raptors in a preseason game in Japan next week. Morey’s tweet likely came as a result of his team heading to Asia.