LeBron James called Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey uneducated and went off at-length about the “negative” side-effects of free speech, in reaction to Morey’s tweet of support to pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong.
On October 4th, Morey tweeted a message of support of Hong Kong’s demonstrators, saying: “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.”
That message touched off a firestorm of controversy as China canceled minor league exhibition games and canceled numerous business deals with the Rockets, and the NBA. On Monday, Lakers forward LeBron James spoke publicly about the incident for the first time, and didn’t mince words while calling Morey out for a tweet that he says could have caused people to be physically “harmed.”
The NBA received tremendous bipartisan criticism for their initial response to Morey’s tweet, when they responded by calling the post “regrettable” for the offense that it caused. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver eventually tried to quell the backlash by championing Morey’s free speech rights.
Now, with the league representatives and players back from their tumultuous trip to China, it seemed like the news cycle of the NBA-China rift had died down. However, with James denouncing free speech in even stronger terms than the NBA did while calling a pro-democracy tweet “uneducated,” it’s difficult to see the crisis going away.
It’s also difficult to see why James would so willingly and unnecessarily reignite the controversy.
Not so difficult if you take into consideration Jason Whitlock’s analysis of the situation. On Tucker Carlson Tonight, Speak for Yourself and other shows, Whitlock has posited that Nike and its money, is controlling this situation.
So NBA players, most of whom are Nike assets, the biggest being LeBron James, are going to do what their Nike overlords tell them to do. And staying woke in this scenario, isn’t an option.