On Oct. China characterizes the protests as rebellion against its sovereignty. NBA commissioner Adam Silver tried to mollify China while standing up for the principle of free speech. We believe that any remarks that challenge national sovereignty and social stability are not within the scope of freedom of speech.

I feel like with this particular situation, it was something not only I was not informed enough about, I just felt like it was something that not only myself or my teammates or my organization had enough information to even talk about it at that point in time and we still feel the same way. As if there is no Google.

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What makes this sadder is that Chinese citizens have no Google. We all use Chinese products every day, and that relationship creates more opportunities for change.

The conservative backlash against LeBron James has nothing to do with human rights

Morey has been silent since deleting his tweet, but he was likely thinking about millions of Hong Kong residents. Morey had nothing to personally gain. James, on the other hand, had his business empire to think about when he implausibly claimed ignorance on all things China.

Besides basketball games and shoes, James will be selling his upcoming Space Jam reboot, which could earn nine figures in the nation that James has chosen not to be informed about.

lebron reddit china

In many ways, that photo launched the current resurgence of black athlete activism. James had something to lose when he and his team were photographed in hoodies, but he did what was right.

Or maybe he should be leery of the Chinese president ruthless enough to disappear Winnie the Pooh. If James chose to speak on China, how many athletes would follow, as they did after Trayvon? Or do we expect that human rights will never come to China? Trying to make sure the inner-city kids that grow up in my hometown can have a brighter future and look at me as an inspiration to get out of the hellhole of the inner city. We want to talk about so many other things as well.

And helping Akron should not prevent him from talking about Chinese issues. On Jan. King wrote that letter inafter being arrested for protesting segregation laws in Birmingham, Alabama.On Martin Luther King Jr.

Day inLeBron James tweeted "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter," a mashup of a paraphrase and a quote from the civil rights leader. Monday, LeBron James' life began to end as he rambled his way through an embarrassing, cowardly, tone-deaf answer about the NBA's current conflict with China over a team executive's pro-Hong Kong tweet; an answer that exposed, in the most blatant way possible, that social justice is only important in the NBA when it doesn't cost anything.

James has been publicly silent over the past week regarding Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey's tweet, which contained an image with the words, "Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong. In James' comments about the controversy, he didn't talk about justice or human rights. He talked about how inconsiderate it was for Morey to support democracy in Hong Kong with a tweet that could have cost James and other players money.

So just be careful what we tweet and what we say. Later, seemingly trying to justify his answer, James tweeted about how difficult this week has been for him and his colleagues.

How could Morey not have waited a week to send his tweet, so as to not make LeBron James uncomfortable? There are some players Enes Kanter, for example who walk the talk when it comes to speaking out for human rights and justice. James is prominently highlighted in the article as a social justice leader. He has spoken out against police violence against minorities. He's worn T-shirts to support Black Lives Matter.

He called President Donald Trump a "bum. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, one of the few league figures whose cowardice on this issue has exceeded James', is quoted speaking of the "sense of obligation, social responsibility, a desire to speak up directly about issues that are important" that is "part of being an NBA player. The NBA has been contrasted with the NFL: While the latter allegedly blackballs former quarterback Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem, NBA players are free and willing to "fully participate as citizens.

Silver's great civil rights accomplishment is pulling the NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte because of the state's transgender bathroom law. But when it comes to China, when it comes to speaking out against a communist nation that oppresses its people and opposes the values of freedom that we in America view as fundamental rights, the NBA stands for nothing but its own business interests.

The players and executives who make millions of dollars selling shoes and apparel and TV contracts in China, the same players and executives who have no problem insulting the U. The price is too high. Expecting professional athletes to be role models and community leaders has always been naive. Being good at sports doesn't necessarily qualify a person for anything except playing sports.

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Still, we live in a society that elevates these stars and pushes their words in our faces on a wide range of important issues.Speaking to the media for the first time since Morey's tweet on Oct. So just be careful what we tweet and say and we do, even though, yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that, too.

When asked why he thinks Morey wasn't properly informed about the unrest in Hong Kong before he tweeted support for protesters, James said it is "just my belief. Because when you say things or do things, if you are doing it and you know the people that can be affected by it and the families and individuals and everyone that can be affected by it, sometimes things can be changed as well. And also social media is not always the proper way to go about things as well, but that's just my belief.

I'm not discussing the substance. Others can talk about that," James said in a tweet. 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," James added in a second tweet. Hong Kong has seen months of protests and increasing violence between demonstrators and police sparked by a proposal that would have allowed extradition from the semiautonomous territory to mainland China.

The Lakers played two preseason games against the Brooklyn Nets in China, and the situation was tense. During the meeting, sources said, several prominent players voiced frustration about their perception that they were being put in the middle of the dispute between the NBA and China, and they said they were unhappy about being asked by local Chinese reporters to address the situation before Silver was scheduled to do so.

I feel like with this particular situation, it was something not only I was not informed enough about I just felt like it was something that not only myself or my teammates or my organization had enough information to even talk about it at that point in time, and we still feel the same way.

After Morey's tweet created an international controversy, the Rockets general manager deleted it and attempted to clarify his intent in subsequent tweets. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta denounced the original tweet and said that the Rockets were "not a political organization" and Morey did not speak for the team.

During the meeting with the players, sources said, Silver was asked whether anything would happen to Morey, as several players said that they believed if a player cost the NBA millions of dollars because of a tweet, there would be repercussions.

Morey will not face any league discipline for the tweet, and Silver defended NBA employees' right to freedom of speech. I think we all sit back and learn from the situation that happened and understand that what you could tweet or could say -- we all talk about freedom of speech.

Yes, we do have freedom of speech, but at times, there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you are not thinking about others and only thinking about yourself.

lebron reddit china

It was a tough situation for Adam as well, having to put out such a fire that he didn't create, that he didn't start. The main reason why I always wanted to go to China was the game of basketball. The game of basketball has brought people together, in so many different facets, so many different countries, so many different people that you would never, ever expect. That is why we were there this past trip.

Myself, the Lakers, along with Brooklyn, we were there to continue to promote the game of basketball. That is what I will continue to do because this sport has done so much for me. Skip to navigation. LeBron: Morey 'misinformed' before China tweet. Los Angeles Lakers. Phoenix Suns. Clippers' Beverley steals show despite 2K loss. LA Clippers. Sources: NBA teams unite, want delayed draft.

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lebron reddit china

October 15, pm Updated October 15, pm. Stand with Hong Kong. Police beating students and then innocent people, like every day. And then he just comes up with something [like] that. Another protester, William Mok, drew applause from a group of demonstrators when he suggested that James — who protested the killing of Trayvon Martin and supported former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem — was a hypocrite.

Accusations of hypocrisy also peppered the deluge of criticism directed toward James on Twitter, where multiple commenters posted a message in which he commemorated the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. US Sen. Josh Hawley R-Mo. Rick Scott R-Fla. Read Next. LeBron James scrambles weakly as criticism mounts over Chi Not Now Yes Please. View author archive email the author follow on twitter Get author RSS feed.

Name required. Email required. Comment required. More On: lebron james. Share Selection. Larry Brooks. Mike Vaccaro. Sports Podcasts.On Oct. Silver hadn't spoken to the media in China, either. Why would this fall on the players to address? ESPN added that, in a players-only meeting, James saw canceling the press conferences as a way of protecting the players from becoming the individual focus of attention.

Silver eventually relented and told the players they needn't participate in the conferences, which were eventually canceled by the Chinese government anyway. But the moment that James returned to the States and opened his mouth, the worries that plagued him in Shanghai proved prescient.

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ESPN reported earlier Tuesday that James and others had lost lucrative endorsement deals and appearances as part of the fallout. James clarified his comments on Twitter as well, reiterating that he wasn't talking about supporting the protesters or not, but rather the timing of Morey's statement of support, which was made while the teams were en route to China.

And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it. And, as for the situation in Hong Kong itself, James still didn't have much to say at all : "I felt like with this particular situation, it was something that not only was I not informed enough about, I just felt like it was something that not only myself and 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.

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At worst, it seemed as if he was repackaging Chinese government propaganda about Westerners requiring a full history of the Qing Dynasty before weighing in which, coincidentally, was the line billionaire Brooklyn Nets owner and Taiwan-born Alibaba founder Joe Tsai ran with last week. Still, for years, James has taken up the mantle of progressive issuesand so, yes, for many it was disappointing to see him tread so cautiously on what seems, from here, to be such a clear-cut matter of right and wrong.

But targeting James and accusing him, personally, of suborning a communist dictatorship for his inartful comments is misplaced at best — an attempt to score cheap culture war points while letting the NBA itself off the hook, according to Dr.

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Harry Edwards, a renowned social justice activist and professor of sociology who has served as an adviser to Colin KaepernickMuhammad Ali, John Carlos and Tommie Smith.

The very same people trying to dunk on him now have often had little interest in hearing about social justice causes in America — particularly when James was involved — but, suddenly, they weirdly feel like his voice is not only valued, but also required. David Westwho played 15 years in the NBA and currently serves as chief operating officer of the Historical Basketball Leagueagreed.

I, immediately I put up a red flag when those two folks are involved in anything," West said. If James had, for example, launched into a diatribe about the million Muslim Uighurs being held in concentration camps camps located in the same region in China where the NBA has set up a training center or inveighed against the violent crackdowns on the protesters, someone sitting behind a microphone would likely have compared him to a child.

Speaking about Hong Kong and China was, as James said at the outset, a lose-lose proposition. Putting the focus on James also allows the NBA off the hook. The only way to avoid future instances of self-censorship and caving to the demands of an authoritarian government — as scores of other businesses have done — is if the league ditches China altogether.If anything, James is reinforcing it.

On Monday, James weighed in for the first time on the international firestorm swirling around the NBA. The controversy began after the Houston Rockets general manager, Daryl Morey, tweeted his support of the Hong Kong protesters on October 4, right before the Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets were scheduled to play exhibition games in China. We all seen what that did. Not only for our league, but for all of us in America, for people in China as well.

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Like many other American businesses, the NBA has staked much of its future on China, a market that has million people playing basketball. Several NBA players have signed healthy endorsement deals with Chinese companies or, like James, have made regular visits to China, as they continue to capitalize on a Chinese market that is thirsty for American basketball.

All of that was nearly compromised with one tweet. It becomes a slippery slope for some people—including James—when it actually requires some sacrifice. Still, expecting James and other NBA players to solve a tense political crisis between China and the league is unfair, and outside of their responsibilities. That was just one of many times James went after Trump, who finally fired back at James by insulting his intelligence. What if the league, other players, and James himself had lost sponsorships and endorsements?

Would he have apologized or backpedaled? And if the league had ever moved to sanction him in any way for his views, the blowback would have been immense. And the league would have deserved it.

He seemed to argue to Silver that Morey should be punished because if a player had sent a tweet that jeopardized an international relationship and millions of dollars, the league would have issued some level of discipline. That is a puzzling stance for James to take.

On Twitter, James tried to further explain his positionbut given the seriousness of the situation in Hong Kong, I doubt many fans were receptive to him explaining how this created a challenging week for the players who were in China as everything unfolded.

His comments so angered them that they burned his jersey —something American fans have done when angry at James, but for much different reasons. Which is true. By painting Morey as the villain, though, James is giving the Chinese government a free pass for its heavy-handed, petty overreaction.

James pointed out that his critics seem far more upset about problems happening abroad than about the ones they see every day in America. James said his priority is protecting players from being put in an awkward position.

Sooner or later, you have to decide which is more important. We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. Skip to content. Sign in My Account Subscribe.CNN LeBron James has long spoken out on social justice issues, such as in his advocacy for the Black Lives Matter movement, his criticism of President Trump as a "bum" and his push to be " more than an athlete.

Let me clear up the confusion. I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet.

LeBron James says NBA exec was 'misinformed' in his tweet supporting Hong Kong protests

I'm not discussing the substance. Others can talk About that. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds.

More Videos 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. James' comments threatened to undermine his reputation as perhaps the foremost social justice advocate in popular culture.

Amid that criticism from sports columnists and politiciansJames tried to clarify his position on Twitter. He said he was "not discussing the substance" of the tweet and added that Morey "could have waited a week" to tweet what he did. James' criticism came while the NBA is embroiled in a standoff with China after Morey tweeted his support for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. Morey quickly apologized and deleted his original tweet, but the league's Chinese partners suspended tiesstate broadcaster CCTV halted all broadcasts of preseason matches, and the Chinese government said the NBA needed to show "mutual respect.

The rift, and the NBA's rapid attempts to salvage its massive Chinese market, have sparked broader questions about the influence of China on free speech in corporate America. Speaking to reporters before a game in Los Angeles Monday, James called it "a very delicate situation, a very sensitive situation. How one tweet snowballed into the NBA's worst nightmare. When asked whether Morey should be reprimanded for his tweet, James responded, "I think when we all sit back and learn from the situation that happened, understand that what you could tweet or could say, and we all talk about this freedom of speech -- yes, we do all have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you're not thinking about others and you're only thinking about yourself.

So many people could have been harmed, not just financially but physically, emotionally, spiritually. So just be careful what we tweet and what we say and what we do, even though yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that too.

James, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, added that he and his teammates had stayed silent about the situation because they were "not informed enough" about it, and that "I'm not here to judge how the League handles the situation.

Hong Kong has been gripped by more than four months of increasingly violent pro-democracy demonstrations, with hostility and anti-China sentiment ramping up among the protesters. Hong Kong is part of China -- but as a former British colony, it's also a semi-autonomous city with its own language, currency, legal system, and freedoms of speech, press, and assembly.

The protest movement has been driven by persistent fears that those freedoms are now being slowly eroded, as China encroaches on the city's autonomy.

In recent weeks demonstrators have burned Chinese flags, spray painted "Hong Kong is not China" across the city, and even attacked Chinese owned-businesses. Beijing has taken a hard stance in response -- just this weekend, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that any attempt to split Chin a will "end in crushed bodies and shattered bones" according to state-media.


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