LeBron James has been widely praised in the United States for his activism and work off the court, but it was just a matter of time before somebody brought up his unwillingness to speak out on things that are happening abroad.
The Los Angeles Lakers star and several other notable athletes have formed More Than A Vote, a new voting rights organization to support African-Americans.
“Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial,” James said to the New York Times. “We’re going to give you the background of how to vote and what they’re trying to do, the other side, to stop you from voting.”
The three-time NBA champion was promptly called out by Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong for being a hypocrite.
“Defending democracy is vital, but (LeBron) only talks loud in the US. On China, not only is he silent, he actively shuts others up. He called (Rockets GM Daryl Morey) ‘misinformed’ and ‘not really educated’ for supporting #HongKong. All he cares about is money, not human rights. Hypocritical,” he wrote.
Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey caught a bunch of criticism when he tweeted his support for Hong Kong ahead of the NBA’s trip to China last fall. LeBron fired back that he was ‘misinformed’ and the criticism soon came his way.
“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 before the Los Angeles Lakers played the Golden State Warriors in a preseason game at Staples Center. “And so many people could have been harmed not only financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually. So just be careful what we tweet and say and we do, even though, yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that, too.”
“I believe he was either misinformed or not really educated on the situation, and if he was, then so be it,” James said. “I have no idea, but that is just my belief. Because when you say things or do things, if you are doing it and you know the people that can be affected by it and the families and individuals and everyone that can be affected by it, sometimes things can be changed as well. And also social media is not always the proper way to go about things as well, but that’s just my belief.”
Soon after speaking with reporters, James took to social media to “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,” James said in a tweet.
“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,” James added in a second tweet.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.