Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey recently tweeted, “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” In Hong Kong, two million of the city’s seven million residents are protesting against communist China’s attempt to annihilate their freedom. To show their fealty with the United States, thousands of demonstrators bravely wave American flags as they are shot, gassed, and roughed up by communist thugs from mainland China.
This situation has become a hot topic around the world. And it has placed a giant spotlight on the National Basketball Association (NBA), which is very cozy with communist China. The NBA’s response has been pathetic. No doubt, the organization’s weak reaction can be somewhat attributed to the fact that the NBA’s current and future business model is so reliant on the 1.4 billion Chinese consumers who seem to love American basketball.
As the NBA continues to protect its business interests, the league’s biggest star, Lebron James, is on a crusade of his own. No, Lebron is not criticizing the reprehensible actions of China’s communist leaders. Lebron, the social justice warrior, believes Morey (and the rest of the world) misunderstands the situation in Hong Kong.
According to the astute political scientist Lebron James, “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.” James went on to state, “So many people could have been harmed, not only financially but physically, emotionally, spiritually. Just be careful what we tweet, what we say and what we do. Yes, we have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negatives that come with that as well. … Sometimes social media is not always the proper way to go about things as well.”
In other words, Lebron James is telling the world to look away and remain silent as the Chinese government commits atrocious crimes against millions of people. China is a police state with a vast concentration camp network for anyone who opposes communist party doctrine.
This seems strange because Lebron James, more than anyone, should be well aware that freedom, in all its glory, has made his life infinitely better.
In 1984, Lebron James was born in Akron, Ohio. James, who was raised solely by his mother, grew-up in abject poverty. Based on these circumstances, one could likely assume that Lebron’s life would be full of trials and tribulations. However, Lebron James is arguably the best-known and wealthiest athlete in the entire world.
Lebron James is paid hundreds of millions of dollars because he can throw a ball through a hoop better than the average person. In the years since his NBA debut in 2003, James has won multiple MVP awards and a few NBA titles, while also becoming quite the political pundit.
In 2016, James proclaimed, “I support Hillary because she will build on the legacy of my good friend, President Barack Obama. … Only one person running truly understands the struggles of an Akron child born into poverty.”
Really, Lebron? Hillary Clinton could not be more out of touch with the struggles of an Akron child (or any child in any city). This obvious truth did not, however, deter Lebron from going all-in on his support for Clinton during the 2016 election.
Despite his favored candidate failing to secure victory in the 2016 presidential election, Lebron has maintained his side gig as a political pundit by unabashedly bashing President Donald Trump. According to James, Trump is a “racist, hatemongering, bum” who has no place in the Oval Office.
Lebron’s dalliance into the world of political commentary has come to a crescendo. His insistence that we not judge the record of the Chinese government is simply because he wants to increase his bank account. James is a total hypocrite. While he tweets away about how terrible America is and how much he hates President Trump, he actually has the audacity to lecture the world on China’s human rights abuses.
Either Lebron James has no clue about the reality of China’s human rights abuses, or he is more concerned with protecting his millions of dollars in endorsement deals with companies such as Nike, which are basically beholden to the Chinese market. Oh, and it just so happens that Lebron is also a budding movie star. He is currently behind the mega-movie Space Jam 2, which is expected to be a worldwide box office blockbuster, especially in China.
Simply put, Lebron James, like so many out-of-touch elites, has adopted the “do as I say, not as I do” motto. For James, placating to Chinese communists is all in a day’s work.
Maybe Lebron should heed his own advice and get off Twitter to enlighten himself about the dire situation in Hong Kong, instead of spouting nonsense and desecrating the very country (and political system) that helped him to become one of the wealthiest and well-recognized people in the world. If James grew up in China, I doubt he would be living the same life or espouse the same pro-China, anti-America rhetoric.
Chris Talgo (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an editor at The Heartland Institute.