Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, unleashed on NBA superstar LeBron James over his comment Monday that a team executive who tweeted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters “wasn’t educated on the situation.”
“Having just been in Hong Kong—on the streets & with the protestors—this kind of garbage is hard to take,” tweeted the senator. “LeBron, are YOU educated on ‘the situation’? Why don’t you go to Hong Kong? Why don’t you meet the people there risking their lives for their most basic liberties.”
The NBA has been accused of kowtowing to China in the name of protecting the league’s financial interests following a now-deleted Oct. 4 tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey that said, “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”
Having just been in Hong Kong - on the streets & with the protestors - this kind of garbage is hard to take. LeBron, are YOU educated on “the situation”? Why don’t you go to Hong Kong? Why don’t you meet the people there risking their lives for their most basic liberties https://t.co/KvphH9RiAl— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 15, 2019
The biggest star in pro basketball, James had remained mum on the issue before speaking to reporters prior to Monday’s preseason game in Los Angeles, where he characterized Morey as “misinformed.”
“I don’t want to get into a [verbal] feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand. And he spoke,” James said. “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, a Los Angeles Lakers forward who has been outspoken on social-justice issues, took heat for his statements on social media, later tweeted that he had made his remarks about the “ramifications” of Morey’s tweet, not the substance.
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
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