Hong Kong protesters burn LeBron James jerseys amid backlash
LeBron James is facing a fierce backlash over his comments that condemned Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s recent tweet in support of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Now, the protesters themselves are reacting to the Los Angeles Lakers superstar’s controversial statements.
Evidence has begun surfacing on social media showing protesters burning various James jerseys. Demonstrations of solidarity with Morey were also evident during protests that have broken out since James criticized the Rockets GM.
.@KingJames is the new 'Enemy No 1' for Hong Kong pro-democracy protestors following his comments last night. This image of protestors stamping on his jersey is startling (via @AP_Sports) https://t.co/g9IFnHZPHg pic.twitter.com/WU7JfyJF2N— Bob Williams (@WilliamsBob75) October 15, 2019
Just now in #Hongkong. basketball fans gathered to thank #Morey for his support. https://t.co/7vyRD8kWfX pic.twitter.com/xPY8GexNAG— HongKongers (@HongKongers8) October 15, 2019
basketball fans gathered today at Southorn Playground to #standwithmorey and thank him for showing support to #hongkonghttps://t.co/rm8k2X0fcL pic.twitter.com/86tpNB4ZcO— HongKongers (@HongKongers8) October 15, 2019
James ignited the firestorm — literally and figuratively, it seems — by stating Morey “wasn’t educated on the situation at hand” and “either misinformed or not really educated on the situation” before issuing the tweet.
The blowback to the latest NBA-China controversy spawned by James led to accusations that he was more interested in his personal profiteering from China’s rabid interest in the NBA via Nike and the like as opposed to freedom of speech and democracy.
James later attempted to walk back his remarks in a series of tweets.
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.— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 15, 2019
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.— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 15, 2019
Given the ongoing backlash in the U.S, not to mention the Hong Kong protesters’ response, the case can be made that the damage, as it were, was already done.