More NBA Drama With China: Hong Kong Protesters Burn LeBron James' Jersey

Published October 16th, 2019 - 09:24 GMT

LeBron James has stepped into the feud between the NBA and China after his remarks about the league's executive. 

James said that Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey was “not really educated on the situation” in reference to a tweet he sent supporting Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. The ripple effect of this tweet has caused a rift between the NBA and China.

Protesters in Hong Kong were furious at LeBron James for speaking out against Daryl Morey. Around 200 people were reportedly demonstrating in Hong Kong.

Chanting praises for Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, Protesters cheered when a ball dropped into the basket after smashing into a photo of LeBron James' face that was placed above the hoop. They also trampled on jerseys bearing his name and gathered in a semicircle to watch one burn. 

Activists on social media have criticized James, questioning the motivation of his comments and disappointed that he had not taken a stand to defend free speech.  

When asked about his response, James announced that he will never talk about this issue again. He concluded by saying "it's a tough situation we're all in right now."

In the lead up to James' comments, Morey's pro-Hong Kong protest tweet had resulted in an angry China canceling TV broadcasts of games being played in the country in addition to pulling sponsorship from the Rockets.

The NBA initially half-apologized to China but later retreated and defended free speech rights of its league members. 

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