LeBron James’ comments Monday made the rounds on social media and eventually to the people of Hong Kong and they were not happy.
One day after the Los Angeles Lakers superstar stated Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey “wasn’t educated on the situation at hand” when Morey tweeted a message in support of the Hong Kong protestors, those same protestors took to the streets and promptly burned his jersey while chanting support for Morey.
“We do not need the money from China, we’re not you, Lebron!” one masked fan told the crowd through a microphone. Others put up posters depicting the LA Lakers forward holding a giant 100 yuan note in his outstretched arms.
“We all talk about this freedom of speech. Yes, we all do have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others and you’re only thinking about yourself,” LeBron said.
“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. And, 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, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that too.”
“That’s just my belief. I don’t know. That’s my belief. That’s all I can say. I believe he was either misinformed or not really educated on the situation.”
“And, if he was, then so be it, but I have no idea. That’s just my belief that when you say things or do things and you know the people can be affected by it, and the families and the individuals and everyone that can be affected by it, sometimes things can be changed. And, also sometimes social media is not always the proper way to go about things as well. But, that’s just my belief.”
Following the backlash, he would quickly take to Twitter to defend himself.
“Let me clear up the confusion,” LeBron said … “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.”
“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.”