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Fans, Pols Erupt After LeBron James Caves to China

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Politicians and media personalities took to Twitter and unloaded on NBA star LeBron James after he sided with China by assessing that Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey “wasn’t educated” for tweeting support of the pro-freedom movement in Hong Kong.

The left-wing activist made waves Monday evening after proclaiming that Morey “wasn’t educated on the situation” in Hong Kong and suggested that the general manager’s tweet could have had “ramifications for the negative”:

LeBron comments on Daryl Morey’s China tweet: “I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand and he spoke.”

(via @BenGolliver)pic.twitter.com/kbUxvRgCO3

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 15, 2019

James tried to soften his remarks on Twitter after his remarks went viral, claiming that his team and the league “went through a difficult week.”

“My team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen,” he wrote, adding, “Could have waited a week to send it.

“Let me clear up the confusion. I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet,” he continued, arguing that he was “not discussing the substance”:

My team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it.

— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 15, 2019

Let me clear up the confusion. I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet. I’m not discussing the substance. Others can talk About that.

— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 15, 2019

James’ explanation did not sit well with many notable personalities in both media and politics.

“The @NBA had a tough week?” Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) asked. “The million Uyghurs Communist China has in re-education camps had a tough week. The people of HK fighting for human rights & autonomy had a tough week.”

“You’re right, @KingJames,” the Florida lawmaker continued. “People need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others”:

The @NBA had a tough week?

The million Uyghurs Communist China has in re-education camps had a tough week. The people of HK fighting for human rights & autonomy had a tough week.

You’re right, @KingJames. People need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. https://t.co/pCIQ305rf4

— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) October 15, 2019

“Having just been in Hong Kong – on the streets & with the protestors – this kind of garbage is hard to take,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) responded.

“LeBron, are YOU educated on ‘the situation’? Why don’t you go to Hong Kong? Why don’t you meet the people there risking their lives for their most basic liberties,” he added:

Having just been in Hong Kong – on the streets & with the protestors – this kind of garbage is hard to take. LeBron, are YOU educated on “the situation”? Why don’t you go to Hong Kong? Why don’t you meet the people there risking their lives for their most basic liberties https://t.co/KvphH9RiAl

— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 15, 2019

“Let me clear up the confusion. Lebron James cares more about selling sneakers in China than American values,” the Hill’s Chief Washington Correspondent Saagar Enjeti wrote.

“His performative wokeness over the years has been utterly exposed,” he added:

Let me clear up the confusion. Lebron James cares more about selling sneakers in China than American values

His performative wokeness over the years has been utterly exposed https://t.co/Bf7hbmBFmk

— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) October 15, 2019

“I defended LeBron James on-air when President Trump attacked him. I thought it was a bad move by POTUS. Given this incredibly cowardly statement, perhaps I was wrong?” CNN political commentator Steve Cortes wrote. “Seems LeBron cares about two things: money…and himself…”:

I defended LeBron James on-air when President Trump attacked him. I thought it was a bad move by POTUS.

Given this incredibly cowardly statement, perhaps I was wrong?

Seems LeBron cares about two things: money…and himself… https://t.co/eKsaOk0PjB

— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) October 15, 2019

“LeBron James @KingJames says Daryl Morey was ‘misinformed’ and ‘wasn’t educated’ for tweeting ‘Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.’ Frankly, it is a little surprising Morey didn’t understand the NBA cares more about $ than freedom or human rights,” MLB Network insider Jon Heyman tweeted:

LeBron James @KingJames says Daryl Morey was “misinformed” and “wasn’t educated” for tweeting “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” Frankly, it is a little surprising Morey didn’t understand the NBA cares more about $ than freedom or human rights.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 15, 2019

“There is no confusion to clear up, @KingJames,” CNN political correspondent MJ Lee wrote. “You were quite clear: a tweet that stated ‘Fight for freedom, stand for Hong Kong’ was, in your own words, ‘misinformed’”:

There is no confusion to clear up, @KingJames. You were quite clear: a tweet that stated “Fight for freedom, stand for Hong Kong” was, in your own words, “misinformed.” https://t.co/pTyBe4EDJP

— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) October 15, 2019

More:

Michael Jordan: “Republicans buy sneakers, too.”

LeBron James: “Communists buy sneakers, too.”

Jordan > LeBron https://t.co/I3BEeyrLaS

— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) October 15, 2019

Sad to see LeBron James side with the Chinese Communist Party as it tries to crush the Hong Kong democracy movement. https://t.co/n0JwZm9fZx

— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) October 15, 2019

Shorter @KingJames: I stand with the Chinese Communist regime & anyone who doesn’t is uneducated. Also, freedom of speech is nice but, c’mon, it might keep me from becoming a billionaire. So cut it out.

All hail the king! Stay woke, folks! https://t.co/lGhSO0fsnj

— Cliff Sims (@Cliff_Sims) October 15, 2019

So @KingJames says the ONE GUY who spoke up for freedom and liberty and against tyranny “wasn’t educated on the issue?”

You mean, he needs to be re-educated?

This is an embarrassment. https://t.co/GWMNvu0pHi

— Larry O’Connor (@LarryOConnor) October 15, 2019

1. Hong Kong is going through much more than a “difficult week.”

2. A tweet can empower others as well, which #LeBronJames should know by now.

3. What happened was exposing China’s power over U.S. biz interests.

4. “Could have waited” is weak. Not how leaders speak. pic.twitter.com/bqmTwrgjf6

— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner) October 15, 2019

Lebron James is literally Twitter as a human. Super strong advocate of everything that is right, until it inconveniences him, costs him a dollar, or requires energy past putting on a tshirt.

You don’t need so many clarifying tweets when you’re on the right side of an issue.

— 🎃 Video Ghost Attorney👻 (@Morrison) October 15, 2019

Hey @KingJames, I know it’s been a tough week for you & the NBA, but I am curious how much these Chinese people are being paid to make your shoes? pic.twitter.com/m7dSu6IvCo

— J Owen Shroyer (@allidoisowen) October 15, 2019

The Chinese Communist Party would still have punished the NBA for crossing them a week later. Sorry your week was “difficult.” Uighurs in concentration camps and Hong Kong protesters in jail also had a “difficult” week. https://t.co/xT9MeNpKs5

— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) October 15, 2019

I would love to see LeBron James meet with the Hong Kong protesters and tell them “My team and this league just went through a difficult week.”

This is a great example of ‘sometimes it’s better to just say nothing at all.’ https://t.co/iKVWmnYbVz

— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 15, 2019

The @nba has updated LeBron James’ team photo. https://t.co/zUh3YUJqNW pic.twitter.com/mv6bCK8LTP

— Steven Cheung (@CaliforniaPanda) October 15, 2019

BREAKING:@KingJames is ALL for freedom of speech when it comes to @Kaepernick7 kneeling and disrespecting our Veterans.

But speaking out against Communist China that literally runs concentration camps/slaughters people.

Well that could hurt his checkbook and is wrong🏼‍♂️

RT!

— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) October 15, 2019

Ultimately @KingJames, the woke media’s star athlete, is a hypocritical sell out. If you pay him enough money, he won’t just shut up and dribble, he’ll also kneel before his Chinese masters: https://t.co/aGgeYQ3zNW

— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 15, 2019

Lebron James Is Mad At Daryl Morey For Supporting Democracy Because It Inconvenienced Himhttps://t.co/WzwgEia3JQ pic.twitter.com/u2zSbVeoll

— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 15, 2019

Guess @KingJames forgot…”Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” – Abraham Lincoln https://t.co/cZJvKb3jYm

— Bill Spadea (@BillSpadea) October 15, 2019

When I told y’all LeBron James was the FAKEST guy in the NBA, y’all called me a hater.

Apologize to me now!!!! pic.twitter.com/FBBr2R3f0f

— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) October 15, 2019

The pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong also reacted to James’ condemnation of support for their movement with disappointment.

As Breitbart News reported:

Supporters of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement expressed disappointment with James online. According to the Hollywood Reporter, which cataloged reactions on the Hong Kong forum LIHKG, users speculated on what interest James would have in defending the Communist Party of China, which is responsible for the systematic rape, torture, murder, indoctrination, and enslavement of between 1 to 3 million people in concentration camps, most of its victims members of the Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority.

‘Has he been brainwashed by the Chinese Communist Party’s fake news or has he been bought?’ a user asked. Another lamented that an American ‘would not cherish the precious freedom of speech they [Americans] have.’

While China’s English-language state media has yet to explicitly weigh in on James’ remarks, it has extended general praise to the NBA’s pro-China “stars,” as Breitbart News detailed.

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