After Rockets owner Daryl Morey sent out a tweet in support of Hong Kong's independence, both the Chinese government and people responded with extreme anger. In fear of losing that enormous market, Silver sent out a statement on the issue Tuesday.
The statement broadly covers different topics of the conflict, but doesn't truly take a side. Silver emphazises that the NBA is a promoter of free speech, but at the same time understands people will have different perspectives in such a diverse league. He concludes by proposing that basketball can help mend this divide.
Unfortunately, the Chinese government didn't quite agree with Silver's statements as they thought they were too supportive of Daryl Morey.
The government doesn't believe Morey's statements fall under free speech, and are therefore cancelling the broadcasts of the remaining preseason games in China.
With China being a basketball-obsessed country with millions of fans, this market is undoubtedly a big loss. It's a shame it's come to this, but if the NBA stands to lose some money because they're supporting people speaking their minds, that's surely the route the league will have to take to preserve its positive image.