NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal had some blunt comments Tuesday night about free speech.
Free speech and the NBA have been in the news nonstop ever since Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey started a gigantic feud with China after tweeting support for democracy in Hong Kong.
Gasoline was poured on the situation when LeBron James essentially ran cover for the Chinese dictatorship, which has an awful record on human rights, by talking about the consequences of free speech.
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
Don’t expect Shaq to support LeBron’s point of view anytime soon. The NBA legend said the following in part:
One of our best values here in America is free speech. We’re allowed to say what we want to say. We are allowed to speak out on injustices and that’s just how it goes. And, if people don’t understand that that’s something they have to deal with. I just think it was unfortunate for both parties. You’ve got people speaking when they don’t know what they’re talking about. Daryl Morey was right. Whenever you see anything wrong going on anywhere in the world, you should have the right to say that’s not right.
You can watch his full comments below.
Shaq on Daryl Morey/China “One of our best values here in America is free speech we’re allowed to say what we want to say and we are allowed to speak out on injustices and that’s just how it goes. and if people don’t understand that that’s something they have to deal with. pic.twitter.com/vefcHSPlMD
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) October 22, 2019
Folks, that’s the most well-spoken thoughts on the whole situation that I’ve heard, and good for Shaq for standing up for freedom, free speech and Daryl Morey. (SOURCE: ESPN Not Interested In Getting Involved In NBA/China Feud, Deadspin Memo Was ‘Misreported’)
The idea the whole NBA was going to roll over for China was embarrassing, and we need people to stand up to remind the world that this is America.
LeBron James failed miserably at upholding American values. Shaq carried the banner with great success, and he made it crystal clear that free speech isn’t something we’ll be surrendering here anytime soon in America.
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Props for to Shaq for not being afraid to stand up for what’s right. Now, if we could get a few more athletes to do the same, then we’d really be in business.
Take notes, LeBron. This is how it’s done.