The general manager of the Houston Rockets basketball team has apologised after a tweet in support of Hong Kong protesters led to a Chinese backlash.
Fellow Republican Senator Ben Sasse called the NBA’s response “shameful” in a statement.
“The NBA wants money, and the Communist Party of China is asking them to deny the most basic of human rights. In response, the NBA issued a statement saying money is the most important thing.”
Democratic presidential hopeful Julian Castro tweeted that the US must “not allow American citizens to be bullied by an authoritarian government”.
Other Democrats, including Mr Castro’s 2020 rival Andrew Yang and congressman Eric Swalwell also criticised the NBA’s move.
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