While the internet has been buzzing with viewpoints regarding NBA star LeBron James’ comments on Hong Kong, the sports world has stayed largely silent.
NBA executives and ESPN sports commentators have avoided the conversation regarding James’ controversial comments Monday on Daryl Morey’s China tweet, made during a press conference.
Lakers’ LeBron James on NBA’s China controversy: “I don’t want to get into a … feud with Daryl Morey but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand and he spoke.” pic.twitter.com/KKrMNU0dKR
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) October 15, 2019
Morey originally tweeted in support of freeing Hong Kong from China, but quickly deleted the tweet after receiving backlash. James accused the general manager of speaking before being educated on the issue.
“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 only thinking about yourself,” James 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.” (RELATED: REPORT: LeBron James Questioned Adam Silver Over Lack Of Punishment For Daryl Morey’s China Tweet)
His public comments came after he privately raised his frustrations during a players meeting on Oct. 9 before the Lakers vs. Nets game in Shanghai.
It was reported Tuesday by Deadspin that ESPN had circulated a memo forbidding its employees from discussing politics, but a source familiar with ESPN’s thinking disputed the reporting of the memo. ESPN has dialed back politics ever since Jimmy Pitaro become the network president. (RELATED: SOURCE: ESPN Not Interested In Getting Involved In NBA-China Feud)
James reportedly questioned NBA Commissioner Adam Silver over the league not punishing Morey over his tweets.
One player who has spoken out regarding James’ comments is Celtics player Enes Kanter. The Celtics center has faced repercussions after being outspoken over issues regarding his home country of Turkey.
-Haven’t seen or talked to my family 5 years
-Jailed my dad
-My siblings can’t find jobs
-Revoked my passport
-International arrest warrant
-My family can’t leave the country
-Got Death Threats everyday
-Got attacked, harassed
-Tried to kidnap me in Indonesia
FREEDOM IS NOT FREE
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) October 15, 2019
Kanter tweeted out a list of the repercussions and ended the tweet saying, “FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.”
Another player who has seemingly commented is Australian basketball player Andrew Bogut.
Everyone is for the “cause” until the “cause” costs them $$$$$…….
— Andrew Bogut (@andrewbogut) October 15, 2019