LeBron James weighed in on the controversy between China and the NBA on Monday, saying that Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey “wasn’t educated” when he sent a tweet in support of protesters in
Hong Kong this month.
Morey’s tweet of support for pro- democracy protests in Hong Kong on Oct. 4 set off a firestorm, prompting Chinese sponsors and partners to cut ties with the league and the National Basketball Association (NBA) to answer difficult questions about free speech.
“We all talk about this freedom of speech.
“Yes, we all do have freedom of speech. But at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others,” James told reporters before the Lakers’ preseason game against Golden
State in California.
“I don’t want to get into a word or sentence feud with Daryl,” he added. “But I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand and he spoke.”
Not long after the media session, James took to Twitter to clarify his statements.
“Let me clear up the confusion. I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet,” James tweeted.
“I’m not discussing the substance. Others can talk About that.”
James’ tweets and statement have set off their own firestorm, with basketball fans in the U.S. and China sounding off.
On Twitter, many users responded to his statement with anger.
“Weak,” said one user. Others simply posted emoji of bags of money.