On Friday evening, Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted his support for the people of Hong Kong. Almost immediately, the Chinese government, the Chinese Basketball Association and several Chinese businesses denounced Morey and moved to sever ties with the Rockets. The Ringer was told by league sources that the team’s ownership has been debating whether or not to fire him.

Here’s a screenshot of Morey’s original tweet, which has been deleted.

The team’s owner, Tilman Fertitta, quickly sent out a tweet distancing himself from Morey’s tweet.

The NBA has also separated itself from Morey’s comment. They issued a statement on Sunday night which read:

We recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable. While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league support individuals’ educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them. We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together.

Following the swift backlash over Morey’s brave support for Hong Kong, he issued an apology. He wrote that he’s “had a lot of opportunity since his original tweet to hear and consider other perspectives.” I’ll bet he has.

According to the “NBA Red Card,” a study into the digital performance of the NBA compiled by the Mailman Group, the Rockets were the second most popular NBA team in China as of September 3. The Ringer points out that “Hall of Famer Yao Ming played for the Rockets and helped exponentially grow the sport’s popularity in the country. But Yao is now the chair of the Chinese Basketball Association, which criticized Morey in its statement for making “an inappropriate comment related to Hong Kong” and said it “strongly opposes” the general manager’s remarks.

Morey is being punished for speaking up for human rights and freedom. He took a stand against tyrrany. One would think he would have been celebrated for upholding the values upon which our country was founded.

Thankfully, many Americans rallied to his side. Here are a few of those responses via Twitchy, starting with my personal favorite:

This is a hostage video. What an embarrassment for the @NBA.

Houston Rockets suspended by Chinese sponsor after GM posted (and quickly deleted) this tweet.

This whole situation is gross. The NBA made a big deal about supporting players’ freedom of speech. Apparently that ends when money gets involved.

If you’re doing business in China, no disloyal politics allowed.

Houston Rockets suspended by Chinese sponsor after GM posted (and quickly deleted) this tweet…If you’re doing business in China, no disloyal politics allowed…NBA should stand with @dmorey. But won’t. $$$

Can’t believe the National Basketball Association is being run by *checks notes* the Chinese Communist Party.

Caving to godless, communist murderers of millions. The @NBA is trash and a total hypocrite being woke about how awful America is bit kneeling before China

People fighting for their freedom, there’s nothing “complicated” about that “I’m sorry to find that political freedom is not acceptable in the 2nd largest economy in the world”

This whole situation is gross. The NBA made a big deal about supporting players’ freedom of speech. Apparently that ends when money gets involved.

And it’s not like @dmorey said something all that provocative. Supporting democracy seems pretty safe.

Here’s how a Chinese newspaper reacted.

So far, three Republican senators and even one Democrat, have expressed support for Morey.