Lebron James has weighed in on the controversy over the expression by the Houston Rockets’ general manager of sympathy for the people of Hong Kong, and on the NBA’s reaction thereto. James accused the GM, Daryl Morey, of thinking only about himself.
[A]t times, there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others, when you only think about yourself. I don’t want to get into a word or sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke.
So many people could have been harmed, not only 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, it can be a lot of negative that comes with it.
Morey wasn’t thinking about himself when he expressed the opinion that sparked this controversy. He was thinking about the oppressed people of Hong Kong.
Shame on Morey for putting concern over their fate above the interest of billionaire NBA owners and millionaire NBA players in adding to their wealth.
Clearly, it is James who is thinking about himself. His attempt to couch this controversy as about more than finances by claiming potential harm “physically, emotionally, and spiritually” is laughable. Spiritual and emotional harm from Morey expressing support for the oppressed people of Hong Kong? Come on.
Physical harm refers to the fact that James began touring in China with his teammates just after Morey made his statement. The likelihood of China physically harming Lebron James or anyone accompanying him was zero. The likelihood of China harming Hong Kong protesters and of imprisoning one million Muslims is 100 percent. Both have already happened.
James made his comments in response to a question about whether Morey should be punished for what he said. As far as I can tell from the reporting, James didn’t answer that question. However, he did say:
Even though yes, we do have freedom of speech, it can be a lot of negative that comes with it.
Of course. But one negative thing that (except in exceptional circumstances not present here) shouldn’t come with the statement of an opinion is formal punishment. Rather than rambling on about his financial and spiritual hurt, James should have made it clear (if he didn’t) that Morey ought not be punished by the NBA.
I don’t agree with the statement “shut up and play (or coach).” But the idiotic and morally dubious comments of Lebron James and Steve Kerr help us understand the sentiment.