LeBron addresses backlash to Hong Kong comments
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James told reporters on Oct. 15 he believes his comments regarding a tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in favor of an independent Hong Kong were taken out of context, calling the circumstances as a whole “tough.”
“I mean obviously it’s a tough situation that we’re all in right now, as an association,” said James, who added that he often feels that his words are taken out of context. “Us as athletes, owners, GMs, whatever, so forth. I think when the issue comes up, if you feel passionate about it or you feel like it’s something that you want to talk about, then so be it.”
James said Oct. 14 — after the Lakers returned from a tour in China — he believed Morey was “either misinformed or not really educated on the situation” and didn’t consider the consequences before posting his tweet.
“So many people could have been harmed not only financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually,” James said Oct. 14. “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.”
After backlash to James’ comments, he tweeted a follow up on Oct. 14 night, writing, “Let me clear up the confusion. I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of (Morey’s) tweet. I’m not discussing the substance. Others can talk about that.”
James’ comments and tweets drew plenty of criticism, including from many in Hong Kong, where protesters were seen stomping on and burning his jerseys on basketball courts in the city. Speaking from the Lakers’ facility on Oct. 15, James said he hadn’t see those images and wasn’t monitoring the backlash.
“I haven’t been paying attention to it much besides what I said and what we’re trying to do here,” he said.
James elaborated somewhat on the discussion about free speech on Oct. 15.