It seems like decades now, but it was only about eight months ago that Daryl Morey set off an international firestorm by tweeting support for protesters in Hong Kong while several NBA teams were in China for exhibition games ahead of the 2019-20 season. Morey was heavily criticized for his decision after China reacted to the comments and ignited a feud between the league and the country that is still carrying on.
This is relevant because right now, America is in a state of extreme civil unrest everywhere you look. That unfortunately means people will try to capitalize on it and gain goodwill with the public for supporting it. Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta did just that today, when he went on television to say he believed protesting was an American right and it was unfortunate that Morey took the heat he did for speaking his mind back in early October.
It's funny he should say he was disappointed by the reaction to Morey's statement because he was one of those people who got upset Morey's decision! Fertitta tweeted the following the day after Morey sent out his message of support.
Per the New York Times, Fertitta explained his decision through a spokesperson:
He said he “never considered firing or punishing Daryl” in the wake of Morey’s Twitter post. Fertitta also said that he needed to initially distance the Rockets from Morey because, “I felt it was important to make the distinction between Daryl speaking as a private citizen and Daryl as a representative of the Houston Rockets.” He added, “We have never commented on another country’s foreign policy.”- NYT
Utilizing the right of freedom of speech is what makes America great to Fertitta, unless his bottom line is impacted. Then he wants to distance himself from whoever decides to do that. Hmm. Sounds about billionaire to me.
Opportunism at its finest right here, ladies and gentlemen. Abhorrent.