Hill editor-in-chief: NBA is 'bending down' to 'almighty dollar'

The Hill’s editor-in-chief Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump blends upbeat virus info and high US death forecast Hill's Editor-In-Chief: Is Washington establishment failing the test of this crisis? Democrat: Lawmakers need to approach opioid crisis as 'a chronic situation' MORE said the NBA has a "disaster" on its hands following the league's response to a tweet by a Houston Rockets executive supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

“This is a disaster for the NBA,” Cusack told Hill.TV on Friday, noting how the league is shutting down questions from journalists and not allowing players to respond to the controversy.

“This comes down to the almighty dollar and the NBA is bending down to it,” he added.

Cusack’s comments come a day after the NBA apologized to a CNN reporter after a spokeswoman attempted to prevent the journalist from asking players about the controversy involving Hong Kong.

The NBA said the spokesperson had “inappropriately interjected” when she asked if Houston Rockets players “felt differently” over the league’s decision to distance itself from the team’s general manager Daryl Morey.

Following the incident with CNN, the NBA announced on Friday that it would conclude its preseason tour in China without holding any more press conferences, according to the Associated Press.

The NBA has been mired in a controversy after Morey last week tweeted, “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong” in support of protesters there.

Even though Morey later deleted the tweet and issued an apology, the Chinese Basketball Association suspended ties with the Rockets.

The NBA issued its own statement calling Morey’s tweets “regrettable,” which drew fire from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including two former political rivals.

Both former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzLawmakers announce legislation to fund government purchases of oil Overnight Energy: Oil giants meet with Trump at White House | Interior extends tenure of controversial land management chief | Oil prices tick up on hopes of Russia-Saudi deal Oil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reserves MORE (R-Texas) ripped the NBA’s statement.

O’Rourke called it an “embarrassment,” while Cruz argued that the only thing the NBA should be apologizing for is “their blatant prioritization of profits over human rights.”

⁠—Tess Bonn