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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

LeBron values profit over bold free speech

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October 30, 2019 | Gunner Young | campus editor

NBA superstar LeBron James has never been afraid to speak his mind on political issues, but his recent comments on the China/Hong Kong situation shows his intellectual inconsistency regarding these topics.

During various interviews throughout his career, he has addressed head-on controversial subjects like Donald Trump’s presidency and systematic racism. James being told to “shut up and dribble” by Fox News host Laura Ingraham in 2018 only seemed to encourage more outspoken NBA players to speak out on their views and exercise free speech.

That was all fine until the most recent NBA controversy with China made James seem less interested in free speech and more interested in his financial wellbeing, undermining the points he has made on the topic throughout his entire career.

The controversy began when Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey praised the Hong Kong protest in a tweet, which caused issues due to the NBA’s close relationship with China.

When asked about the controversy, James said he was not informed enough to make an educated comment. While this seems like an avoidance of the issue, it is a fair comment to make. One should avoid speaking on matters they don’t understand, especially a person of James’ influence.

It wasn’t until his later comments calling out Morey for being uninformed that James’ opinions became null and void.

“I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke,” James told reporters, regarding the tweets made by Morey.

If James wants to protect his assets connected with China, that’s fine — freedom of speech and all — but saying that Morey is uninformed for going against the grain of the NBA and calling out China for the civil rights disaster they created is a cowardly move.

Morey is using his free speech too, arguably more than James ever has, and just because this controversy might cause a drop in his shoe sales in China doesn’t mean anyone speaking in favor of basic human rights is uninformed.

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