NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will face “retribution sooner or later” for saying that Beijing wanted him to fire the general manager of the Houston Rockets, state broadcaster CCTV said in a commentary published late Friday.
The government-controlled broadcaster said Silver “crossed the bottom line” by continuing to defend Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey. “To cater to the taste of certain American politicians,” CCTV claims, Silver “fabricated lies out of thin air” and portrayed China as unforgiving.
Silver claimed that Beijing asked the NBA to fire Morey for the GM’s now-deleted Oct. 4 tweet, in which he showed support for anti-government protests in Hong Kong.
China has denied making that request.
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“I saw that in the news, and I specifically checked that with the competent authority. The answer is, the Chinese government has never raised such demands,” Geng Shuang, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry, said Friday according to a transcript posted on the ministry website.
“Silver is making every effort to portray himself as a defender of free speech and is using so-called ‘freedom of speech’ to cover for Morey, who voiced support for violent elements in Hong Kong,” CCTV said, in a translation by CNBC.