LeBron James says Daryl Morey wasn't 'educated on the situation' over Hong Kong tweet, slammed by fans and activists
The basketball star's criticism of Houston Rocket's manager didn't go down well will Hong Kong protesters and human rights activists
The National Basketball Association's (NBA) most popular player, LeBron James, on Tuesday, commented on the ongoing fallout between the league and China, saying that the Houston Rockets general manager, Daryl Morey, was not "educated on the situation."
James was referring to Morey's controversial tweet in support of anti-government protestors in Hong Kong earlier this month, which has put a dent between the NBA's lucrative relationship with China. Although Morey deleted the tweet -- which read "Fight for freedom, stand for Hong Kong," China threatened to sever ties with the NBA, with multiple Chinese firms even withdrawing their broadcasts and sponsorship deals.
The NBA star was asked about the situation just moments before his team, the Los Angeles Lakers, played the Golden State Warriors in a pre-season game on Monday. James responded with: "I don’t want to get into a ... feud with Daryl but I believe he wasn’t educated about the situation at hand and he spoke. Just be careful what we tweet ... even though, yes, we do have freedom of speech. But there can be a lot of negative that comes with that too."
Lakers’ LeBron James on NBA’s China controversy: “I don’t want to get into a ... feud with Daryl Morey but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand and he spoke.” pic.twitter.com/KKrMNU0dKR— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) October 15, 2019
Referring to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, James said: "I feel like with this particular situation, not only was I not informed enough about. I just felt like it was something not only myself or my teammates or our organization had enough information to even talk about it at that point in time. And we still feel the same way.”
James later clarified his statement through Twitter, saying that he meant Morey was not educated on the repercussions of the tweet rather than the situation in Hong Kong. "Let me clear up the confusion," the player wrote on Twitter. “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."
Within an hour after James' comments became public, his statements were denounced by fans and commentators. Some of his critics even accused him of “licking the boot,” while others drew a contrast with his previous comments based on political and social rights issues.