LeBron's terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week

National Basketball Association (NBA) superstar LeBron James took to Twitter on Monday to vent his frustration about the latest controversy over the NBA's decision to grovel before the Chinese government.  In a tweet expressed by his account @KingJames Lebron wrote: "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."

James is most assuredly right on two accounts.  First, he did in fact have a difficult week.  "So many people could have been hurt [not only] financially, but physically, emotionally, spiritually," James said in an interview that made the internet explode.  The NBA was most certainly hurt financially by the controversy started by a pro–Hong Kong tweet made by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. The Chinese government blacked-out NBA pre-season games in response to Adam Silver's feeble "support" of Morey (which was contradicted by a separate apology to China on behalf of Morey by the league).

For clarity's sake, it appears as though China is allowing games to be streamed once again, but that hardly does anything but prove that corporate sniveling buys some favors in a communist regime if you're willing to humiliate yourself to the American public.

While James and his league were having a difficult week, it turns out that others were having a difficult few weeks as well: notably Hong Kongers.  Chinese police opened fire on protesters during National Day, hundreds have been arrested, troops have doubled, and more military is expected to come.  And let's not forget the million Muslim Uighurs in China's "re-education" (read: concentration) camps.

Good news for LeBron, though!  He may be making a little bit of money as protesters buy his jersey to burn in effigy.  Hopefully, that can ease the "financial difficulty" he's facing.

If you think there may be some hypocrisy in James's supposedly "educated" view on the Hong Kong situation, you are astoundingly correct.  He routinely loves to bash his political opponents.  Take this tweet, which reached 1.4 million likes (more likes than the number of Uighurs China has locked up in concentration camps), where he attacked President Donald Trump as a "bum."  Trump may have spouted some crass statements that James doesn't like, but I don't see him calling Xi a "bum" when the Chinese president demands the "crushed bodies and shattered bones" of his enemies.

LeBron is also vocal about what he deems to be police violence in the United States.  This topic is divisive at its core, and we continue to see reform whenever an unjustified act takes place, such as the firing and arrest of the officer who murdered Atatiana Jefferson.  However, does James have an opinion on police brutality in China?  I suppose not, because if he did decide to stand up for a cause, he might alienate Chinese audiences from seeing the upcoming Space Jam 2, which he stars in.

There's a second truism expressed by @KingJames's highlighted tweet.  People do need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others.  This applies most of all to the man who made the tweet.  LeBron James isolated not only the entirety of Hong Kong, but his American fan base as well, in a mere few days through statements made to appease the Chinese government.

James trivialized the matter by saying those who aren't "educated" on the matter shouldn't speak to it.  One has to wonder how educated James is on the subject at hand.  Either his ignorance is at its apex and he needs to reassess his stance on China or his complacency shows he cares not for human life, dignity, and freedom over the almighty yuan.

Billy Aouste (baouste@heartland.org) is a media specialist with The Heartland Institute.

Image: Keith Allison via Flickr (cropped).

National Basketball Association (NBA) superstar LeBron James took to Twitter on Monday to vent his frustration about the latest controversy over the NBA's decision to grovel before the Chinese government.  In a tweet expressed by his account @KingJames Lebron wrote: "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."

James is most assuredly right on two accounts.  First, he did in fact have a difficult week.  "So many people could have been hurt [not only] financially, but physically, emotionally, spiritually," James said in an interview that made the internet explode.  The NBA was most certainly hurt financially by the controversy started by a pro–Hong Kong tweet made by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. The Chinese government blacked-out NBA pre-season games in response to Adam Silver's feeble "support" of Morey (which was contradicted by a separate apology to China on behalf of Morey by the league).

For clarity's sake, it appears as though China is allowing games to be streamed once again, but that hardly does anything but prove that corporate sniveling buys some favors in a communist regime if you're willing to humiliate yourself to the American public.

While James and his league were having a difficult week, it turns out that others were having a difficult few weeks as well: notably Hong Kongers.  Chinese police opened fire on protesters during National Day, hundreds have been arrested, troops have doubled, and more military is expected to come.  And let's not forget the million Muslim Uighurs in China's "re-education" (read: concentration) camps.

Good news for LeBron, though!  He may be making a little bit of money as protesters buy his jersey to burn in effigy.  Hopefully, that can ease the "financial difficulty" he's facing.

If you think there may be some hypocrisy in James's supposedly "educated" view on the Hong Kong situation, you are astoundingly correct.  He routinely loves to bash his political opponents.  Take this tweet, which reached 1.4 million likes (more likes than the number of Uighurs China has locked up in concentration camps), where he attacked President Donald Trump as a "bum."  Trump may have spouted some crass statements that James doesn't like, but I don't see him calling Xi a "bum" when the Chinese president demands the "crushed bodies and shattered bones" of his enemies.

LeBron is also vocal about what he deems to be police violence in the United States.  This topic is divisive at its core, and we continue to see reform whenever an unjustified act takes place, such as the firing and arrest of the officer who murdered Atatiana Jefferson.  However, does James have an opinion on police brutality in China?  I suppose not, because if he did decide to stand up for a cause, he might alienate Chinese audiences from seeing the upcoming Space Jam 2, which he stars in.

There's a second truism expressed by @KingJames's highlighted tweet.  People do need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others.  This applies most of all to the man who made the tweet.  LeBron James isolated not only the entirety of Hong Kong, but his American fan base as well, in a mere few days through statements made to appease the Chinese government.

James trivialized the matter by saying those who aren't "educated" on the matter shouldn't speak to it.  One has to wonder how educated James is on the subject at hand.  Either his ignorance is at its apex and he needs to reassess his stance on China or his complacency shows he cares not for human life, dignity, and freedom over the almighty yuan.

Billy Aouste (baouste@heartland.org) is a media specialist with The Heartland Institute.

Image: Keith Allison via Flickr (cropped).