Chinese state television broke its yearlong ban of NBA games to air Game 5 of the Finals yesterday night.
It comes one year and one day after broadcaster CCTV quit airing games following tweets by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey that supported pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
CCTV stopped airing NBA games after Morey tweeted in support of Hong Kong protestors during their human rights struggle against the Chinese government.
“Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong,” Morey wrote on Oct. 4, 2019.
He deleted it after it caused an international uproar. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta took to Twitter to say Morey does not speak for the Rockets and “we are NOT a political organization.”
It all happened as the league was slated to play preseason games in Japan. The NBA is incredibly popular in China and the country pressured the league to fire Morey over the tweet. China cut all ties with the Rockets and suspended business deals with the league.
It created financial repercussions for the league, but also blowback for prominent players and coaches who actively voice social justice opinions but declined to support the Hong Kong protestors.