China's official basketball association has suspended cooperation with the Rockets following a tweet by general manager Daryl Morey in support of pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong.
On Sunday, the association said that Morey had made “improper remarks regarding Hong Kong” to which it expressed its “strong opposition.”
Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta distanced the franchise from Morey's now-deleted tweet on Friday, which included a photo of protestors in Hong Kong on Friday with the caption, "Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong."
Fertitta didn't take a stance on the content of Morey's tweet, but rather stated that the Rockets are an apolitical organization.
"I have the best general manager in the league," Fertitta told ESPN's Tim MacMahon. "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."
The Rockets are currently in Japan as they prepare for a preseason matchup with the Raptors on Tuesday. They hosted the Shanghai Sharks in a preseason contest on Sept. 30.