In the latest news on the NBA’s ongoing controversy with China, Sopan Deb of The New York Times writes that Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, despite publicly distancing himself and his franchise from the now-famous tweet by general manager Daryl Morey, never considered firing or even punishing Morey.
Interestingly, however, there was no explanation as to why Fertitta began liking posts on Instagram supportive of Morey’s firing then, but Fertitta did explain why he was – and still is – not okay with Morey’s tweet.
In a written explanation, Fertitta said that he needed to initially distance the Rockets from Morey because he “felt it was important to make the distinction between Daryl speaking as a private citizen and Daryl as a representative of the Houston Rockets… (and the Rockets) have never commented on another country’s foreign policy.”
Deb notes, however, that Fertitta himself has been willing to speak on politics before without distancing the Rockets from his views. Accordingly, Fertitta was asked whether he’d be comfortable with his employees publicly voicing their political views in the future. He declined to comment.