LeBron James is facing a lot of backlash because of his statements (or lack thereof) regarding China. Yes, the NBA pre-season is well underway (thank the LORD)! Though, there seems to be a lot more drama off the court than on it.
In case you haven’t heard, Daryl Morey, the GM of the Rockets, tweeted, “Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong”. Morey has since provided clarification regarding his initial tweet.
The NBA’s half-assed response’s first sentence is, “We recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable.”
NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, issued a second statement wherein he kisses China’s ass.
Why, LeBron? Why?
The most disappointing part to me, though, is what LeBron James had to say (or not say) about the situation. I’ve been a fan of LeBron’s for a while now. The last post I wrote here was about him. I used to love to hate him when he was on the Miami Heat, but I’d grown to love him. He’s obviously one of the greatest players of all time, he uses his platform to speak out about social and racial injustice. He opened the “I Promise School” to provide disadvantaged kids in Akron with an education and their families with resources. His Taco Tuesday Instagram stories make me laugh every time and he seems like a cool dude. But he really let me down.
James tweeted that he thought Morey was “misinformed or not really educated on the situation”. The timing of Morey’s tweet was inconvenient for the league because the Lakers and Nets were scheduled to play exhibition games in China.
So, the NBA is all about its individuals practicing their right of free speech, but only when it’s convenient? Only when it doesn’t offend China because money???
Social injustice warrior…sometimes
LeBron is often criticized for being outspoken about other social issues and racial injustices. The fact that he criticized Morey for showing support for a group of people fighting for the most basic human rights is downright hypocritical.
My dad always taught me not to wish others acted differently since I can only control myself, but dammit, I wish LeBron hadn’t kowtowed to China. I wonder if a Nike contract is really worth disregarding the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Hong Kong fighting for what’s right.
LeBron’s criticism of Morey is that he believes he’s “misinformed” and “uneducated” about the situation. I honestly hope that LeBron is misinformed about the situation. That’s the only way I can see his words as forgivable. If LeBron is educated and informed about the extent to which Hong Kong protestors are being mistreated and he still believes what he said…well, I can’t even.
“Cancel Culture” is rampant these days and it’s a tricky thing. We’re lucky to live in a country where free speech is a right, which means we’re also free to form opinions of others based on what they say. People make mistakes, say things they regret or don’t mean, and people change. I hate when people say “people don’t change” – yeah, they do.
However, there are certain people who’ve done things so terrible that yes, they should definitely be canceled – Kevin Spacey and R. Kelly come to mind. But should LeBron be canceled based on his statements? Last year, journalist, Laura Ingraham, told James to “shut up and dribble” when he spoke about politics. I was happy with how he responded to that, expressing that he’s “more than an athlete” and is free to speak about whatever he wants, including politics.
It’s clear now that James will “shut up and dribble” when it makes sense business-wise. I’ll continue to enjoy watching him play, but this has really ruined him for me. I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. And if you have parents that have ever said that to you, you know that’s way worse.
- / 1 year ago
To me, Rachel Nichols is the personification of posting a black square on Instagram.