Video: Lakers star LeBron James addresses backlash to his China comments
James asserted that people should speak out on those issues which they feel passionately about, but he also seemed to double down on his previous statement suggesting that Morey was misinformed. LeBron said, “I don’t think that every issue should be everybody’s problem.”
James followed it up by saying there are issues in the U.S. and the inner cities that do not get enough attention:
I asked LeBron James on his response to the criticism on not speaking out on a freedom of speech/human rights issue. His response pic.twitter.com/3ub5hYsa22
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) October 15, 2019
“I just think that when you’re misinformed or you’re not educated about something — and I’m just talking about the tweet itself — you never know the ramifications that can happen. We all see what that did — not only for our league but for all of us in America, for people in China as well,” he told reporters on Monday.
Although James tried to clarify that he was speaking about the ramifications of the tweet itself, his failure to support democratic ideals have drawn the ire of people around the globe, including in Hong Kong.
Protesters burned his jersey and lamented his comments. James Lo, a web designer in Hong Kong, notes that LeBron lacks a fundamental understanding of what people are fighting for in China (via John Leicester):
“Students, they come out like every weekend. They’ve got tear gassed and then they got gun-shot, like every weekend. Police beating students and then innocent people, like every day. And then he (James) just comes up with something (like) that. We just can’t accept that.”
The NBA struck a $1.5 billion deal with a Chinese streaming agent in July. But Morey’s now-deleted tweet and the league’s response has led to questions about the moral and ethical responsibilities of the NBA and its members. Needless to say, this saga is far from over.