The backlash against NBA superstar LeBron James reached a fever-pitch Tuesday afternoon, with a major American newspaper calling his pro-China comments the “most disgraceful moment of his career.”
“On behalf of the 327 million American citizens who generally believe that freedom is good and authoritarian regimes are less good, let me apologize to LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers,” writes Dan Wolken.
“It must have been a real inconvenience to take that 13-hour chartered flight to China last week and hang around a luxury hotel in Shanghai for five days while promotional appearances got canceled. Surely it was awful to be in the middle of an international firestorm where the stakes were so high: Would preseason NBA games be played or not?” adds the author.
— New York Post (@nypost) October 15, 2019
LeBron James on if Daryl Morey should be reprimanded for his tweet pic.twitter.com/6hCE8vCyNn
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) October 15, 2019
“LeBron, we’ve come to expect more of you. You’re obviously an intelligent person, a compassionate person and a socially conscious person. At this point in your life and career, it’s part of your brand. But to present that face to an American audience while essentially admitting that all you care about when it comes to the rest of the world is cashing those big checks — well, let’s just say it doesn’t look very good on you,” writes Wolken.
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
Read the full report at USA Today.
NBA Backs BEIJING? Pro-Hong Kong Signs Confiscated from Fans… in Washington, DC
Protesters had their pro-Hong Kong signs confiscated during an exhibition basketball game between the Washington Wizards and Guangzhou Loong Lions Wednesday; raising new concerns regarding the NBA and their association with the Chinese communist regime.
“Just had our ‘Free Hong Kong’ sign confiscated at Capitol One Arena at the Wizards game against the Guangzhou Loong Lions,” posted one demonstrator on social media.
— Jon Schweppe (@JonSchweppe) October 9, 2019
The news comes hours after ESPN circulated an internal memo warning all reporters to avoid discussing the ongoing protests sweeping Hong Kong.
“Chuck Salituro, the senior news director of ESPN, sent a memo to shows mandating that any discussion of the Daryl Morey story avoid any political discussions about China and Hong Kong, and instead focus on the related basketball issues. The memo, obtained by Deadspin, explicitly discouraged any political discussion about China and Hong Kong. Multiple ESPN sources confirmed to Deadspin that network higher-ups were keeping a close eye on how the topic was discussed on ESPN’s airwaves,” reports Deadspin.
ESPN is set to broadcast from China this week. The woke league with the woke broadcasting network. All shilling for Chinese communists. Y’all think they’ll say anything at all? Ha ha. The hypocrisy is crazy. When the NBA pulled out of Charlotte ESPN praised them to high heavens. pic.twitter.com/Y3ZySBJc7c
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 7, 2019
— Isaac Stone Fish (@isaacstonefish) October 8, 2019
The controversy began when the General Manager of the Houston Rockets posted -then deleted- a pro-democracy tweet in support of Hong Kong demonstrators.
The Chinese government immediately canceled a series of NBA broadcasts; calling the comments a threat to their “sovereignty.”
“Any summary of the tensions between China and Hong Kong is going to be necessarily reductive, but a summary of what’s actually going on at least provides basic context for the rest of the discussion. The idea that Chinese politics are simply too complex to talk about on sports TV just isn’t convincing,” adds Deadspin.
Read the full story here.
Bowing to Beijing? LeBron James Defends China, Says Pro-Democracy Tweets ‘Misinformed’
Basketball superstar LeBron James found himself in hot-water this week after defending the Chinese government in the league’s latest Hong Kong Scandal; calling pro-Democracy tweets “misinformed.”
“Basketball superstar LeBron James was accused of turning a blind eye to Chinese repression on Tuesday after he criticized a Houston Rockets executive for angering China with a ‘misinformed’ tweet supporting protesters in Hong Kong,” reports Yahoo Sports.
“James told reporters that Rockets general manager Daryl Morey ‘wasn’t educated’ on Hong Kong and should have kept his mouth shut, as the outspoken Lakers forward waded into a charged debate that other high-profile NBA figures have shied away from,” adds Yahoo.
“So many people could have been harmed not only financially but physically, emotionally and spiritually. So just be careful with what we tweet, and we say, and we do,” James told reporters.
— Senator Ben Sasse (@SenSasse) October 15, 2019
“You’re parroting communist propaganda. China is running torture camps and you know it,” posted Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse.
Read the full report here.