Last fall, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey expressed support for protesters in Hong Kong who were demonstrating opposition to a proposed law that could see citizens extradited to mainland China despite maintaining a degree of autonomy from the country at large.
The tweet caught backlash from China, where basketball is very popular, and various sponsors, leagues, partners and streaming services cut ties with the Rockets and the NBA over the message.
In the following days, the NBA released a statement in which they noted that the tweet “deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable,” seemingly condemning Morey’s message.
Now, Whitford, 60, has condemned the NBA’s recent silence on the matter.
“Hey @NBA. Do you care about what’s happening in Hong Kong? Or the fact that the Chinese are building concentration camps for the Uighurs?” the Emmy winner tweeted on Monday. “Or do you only take principled stands if they won’t hurt your bottom line?”
Whitford’s comments come as Hong Kong has once again entered the global spotlight after China passed a new security law with consequences similar to the previously proposed bill. The new law has been critiqued for its limitations on Hong Kong’s previously promised autonomy.
Many followers expressed support for Whitford’s sentiments in their comments on his post.
Protesters against the new national security law gesture with five fingers, signifying the “Five demands – not one less” on the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain in Hong Kong, Wednesday, July. 1, 2020. Hong Kong marked the 23rd anniversary of its handover to China in 1997, and just one day after China enacted a national security law that cracks down on protests in the territory. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
“They only care for the money, not the human rights,” wrote one Twitter user. “That should have been clear when they threw Rockets GM Morey under the bus for supporting the HK protests last year.”
“Let’s be real, they don’t care and don’t want to be involved,” stated another.
A third added: “Thank you. I amazed that no one speaks on the fact that they are being enslaved, raped, reprogrammed all the while companies like @nike, @Apple and the @nba turn a blind eye. It’s always about the bottom line. I stopped supporting the NBA last year when they defended China.
Reports recently surfaced stating that the NBA’s relationship with China’s state-run TV is still on the rocks.
Reps for the NBA did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.