Just when you thought the intense firestorm over the NBA's cowering to China was starting to die down, the league's biggest superstar waded into the fray, and made things much worse by disgracing himself. In case you missed it, LeBron James decided to spout off on the subject during a gaggle with reporters, criticizing Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey over his simple expression of support for democracy in Hong Kong. The following rambling, accusatory mess is simply pathetic. LeBron had days to think things through, and this is what he came up with:
LeBron James on if Daryl Morey should be reprimanded for his tweet pic.twitter.com/6hCE8vCyNn— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) October 15, 2019
Here is LeBron on his belief that Daryl Morey "wasn't informed" on the situation in China, and his thoughts on the consequences that come with free speech pic.twitter.com/JOVRSDzCIg— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) October 15, 2019
A 'no comment,' while craven and cowardly, would have been preferable to this steaming pile of garbage. Morey's support for democracy in Hong Kong -- and opposition to China's encroachments on Hong Kongers' long-held freedoms, with violations of clear international treaty obligations -- was ignorant or "misinformed," according to LeBron. The Rockets' front office executive wasn't "educated" on the situation, you see, and therefore was selfishly "only thinking about" himself (!) by defending human rights. Sure, Morey has freedom of speech, LeBron conceded, but his free expression on Hong Kong caused harm to people -- "financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually." To be clear, the people LeBron is worried about harming are those with financial interests in the NBA's Chinese fan base, and anyone who might be offended enough to freeze that gravy train.
He evinced zero concern for the well-being (financial, physical, emotional, spiritual, or otherwise) of the besieged pro-freedom protesters in Hong Kong (some of whom are reportedly heartbroken by LeBron's comments), the vast numbers of Muslims being interned and re-programmed in Western China, or the various minority groups undergoing torture or forcible organ harvesting. Based on LeBron's myopic, repulsive mindset, it would be quite rude to mention any of those people and risk angering Beijing. 'The King' actually seems to think that he's the good and thoughtful party in this scenario, and that Morey is the uneducated one. Or perhaps he knows in his bones that Morey is of course morally correct here, but there's just too much money at stake to admit it. Sensing a backlash from all directions (except from the Communist Chinese regime, that is), LeBron sought to 'clarify,' explaining that he and the NBA are the true victims in all of this and informing the public that he won't be addressing any of the substance behind the controversy:
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
Let me clear up the confusion. I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet. I’m not discussing the substance. Others can talk About that.— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 15, 2019
Oh, there's no "confusion," my man. It's abundantly clear what's happening, just as it's abundantly clear how seriously we should take your social justice "activism." A few fun flashbacks:
-Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere- Our Lives Begin To End The Day We Become Silent About Things That Matter- #ThankYouMLK50— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 15, 2018
He's more than happy to publicly call the President of the United States a "bum," or to weigh in or take stands on any number of domestic cultural or political issues. But when it's time to use his platform in a way that would strike a high-profile rhetorical blow against egregious and ongoing human rights abuses, but in such a way that would cost him and his league cash, he's fretting about speech being harmful, adding, "I'm not discussing the substance." A profile in amoral, self-interested cowardice. He's another abject fraud. Speaking of abject frauds, guess who's had more to say?
"[Silver] stood by our nation and its principles. That's pretty huge in these days," Popovich told reporters before the Spurs' preseason game against the New Orleans Pelicans. "Sometimes, it's kind of Orwellian. You think we're living in a place where, 'Is this really happening?' But that comparison was pretty stark when you put our president up against those leaders when he's with them or talking to him and how he reacts compared to the way Adam Silver reacted. I was proud of him. It was great...All I did was make a comparison between Adam Silver's show of principle and courage in a tough situation, as opposed to how our president reacts when in the company of authoritarian figures, whether it's Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Russia or Turkey, whatever it is," Popovich said. "It comes off as really feckless, impotent, cowardly by comparison."
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich lavishly praised the NBA commissioner, bravely attacked President Trump for the umpteenth time, complaining that POTUS doesn't stand up to authoritarian countries. Conspicuously absent from that roster of nations was -- you guessed it -- China, about which Popovich doesn't have one word to say. His seven-figure annual food and drink tab doesn't pay for itself, after all. The NBA's Woke All Stars are a bunch of signaling phonies. I'll leave you with this, which represents actual eduction on a relevant matter:
Please watch this, then make sure LeBron & friends see it — especially since they’re lecturing others about getting educated: https://t.co/cKTtU73zQT— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) October 15, 2019
UPDATE - Whatever the opposite of moral clarity and courage is, this is it:
BREAKING: NBA star LeBron James reportedly pressured the NBA to punish the Rockets’ General Manager Daryl Morey after he tweeted pro-freedom support for Hong Kong https://t.co/7xlghbDZEj— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 15, 2019
.@KingJames on China/Hong Kong: “I won’t be talking about it again … we’re not politicians, I think it’s a huge political thing … it was a challenging trip for all of us in China.” pic.twitter.com/w2gLb7BgnV— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 16, 2019
I will never look at this person the same way again.