Published On: Mon, Oct 14th, 2019

LeBron James criticises ‘not educated’ Daryl Morey over NBA vs China dispute | Other | Sport

LeBron James has criticised Daryl Morey for his tweet which started the NBA’s dispute with China and evoked a worldwide debate over free speech.

The Los Angeles Lakers star argued that the Houston Rockets general manager was “not educated” on the matter at hand when he tweeted about the Hong Kong protestors.

Morey posted a controversial tweet earlier in the month supporting protestors in Hong Kong over Chinese extradition laws which started a political firestorm, posting an image with the caption: ‘Stand With Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong’.

Chinese officials were quick to react, as the NBA’s Chinese streaming partner suspended their broadcasts of pre-season games.

The Chinese Basketball Association also suspended its relationship with the Houston Rockets, as it was feared the country would essentially blackball the NBA completely, resulting in the organisation losing potential billions of dollars.

All of the NBA’s commercial partners in China also suspended their ties with the organisation, as multiple NBA events were cancelled in mainland China.

Rockets star James Harden was one of the few players to speak over the incident, as he first apologised before backtracking and saying he doesn’t want to get involved.

Now, James has broken his silence on the issue, and has criticised Morey for his tweet and for commenting on a situation he “wasn’t educated” enough on.

“We all talk about this freedom of speech,” he said to reporters on Monday night. “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.

“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 was we do.

“Even though yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that too.”

James then criticised Morey in a tweet, saying he should have waited before commenting.

He posted: “Let me 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.

“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.”

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