Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.
Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted that message on Friday (Oct. 4). Its a sentiment that should command broad support in the United States, and throughout the free world.
But the reaction from China, which does not number free expression among its cherished values, was swift and painful for the N.B.A. The shoe company Li Ning and the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank ended sponsorship deals with the Rockets; Chinese broadcasters said they would not show Rockets games; the Chinese Basketball Association led by the former Rockets star Yao Ming suspended ties with the team.