Source: Robert Laberge/Getty Images
LeBron James criticized Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey for his comments on supporting the Hong Kong protesters. Comments that could have cost Morey his job, and risked the business partnership between China and the NBA. Instead of showing support LeBron wanted to play businessman and basically said F' you to the people of Hong Kong.
LeBron James who has been very vocal in the social injustice realm himself chose to look the other way and side with the Chinese Government. The issue is LeBron James did it because of greed, it's not like he's not set for life after earning millions and millions of dollars.
According to Forbes, his net worth is around 450 million dollars and could actually be getting close to a billion once he's done playing. He has endorsements, businesses, and partnerships, LeBron is looking mighty fine without that China-NBA money.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver didn't criticize Morey's tweet and would accept the consequences from the backlash. Yet Silver wasn't intimidated and wanted to see the situation come to a resolution, LeBron James didn't do the same.
As previously stated, Lebron has been a loud voice when it comes to America’s social issues. Lebron was there for Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin, in 2014, he and many other NBA players wore the "I can't breathe" t-shirts during warm-ups in support for Eric Garner. He for once downplayed the situation while warning others about the negativity that comes with free speech. It was a weird flex, especially coming from a man who was told to “shut up and dribble”.
It's additionally troubling seeing some media outlets being stifled. CNN reporter Christina MacFarlane got her microphone snatched after asking a legitimate question if players would voice their thoughts about the lack of social rights in Hong Kong. Both Russell Westbrook and James Harden were prevented from speaking. Essentially, the topic is being censored.
What do the people of Hong Kong think? Well, videos on socially media have shown protesters from Hong Kong burning James' jerseys while chanting "F*** off LeBron" while also chanting "Thank you Morey". That pretty much sums it up.
While you can't blame LeBron for not connecting with the people of Hong Kong the same way he does with the people from his own background. He doesn't live there, he has no connection with the people besides the fact that they're his fans. Unfortunately, that's what makes it so tone deaf.
Lebron James can't make everyone happy but he alienated parts of his fan base around the world. While many will still love LeBron James and look at him as their hero, others may not view him as that same strong outspoken hero. Hopefully, LeBron can learn from this mistake in the future. We don't want a "woke" LeBron James, just a guy that knows right from wrong.