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LeBron Believes Daryl Morey ‘Was Misinformed Or Not Really Educated’ When He Posted His Hong Kong Tweet

It’s been 11 days since Daryl Morey posted his since-deleted tweet supporting the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, in which protesters fought against an extradition bill. After it was withdrawn, protests continued with the hopes of, among other things, democratic elections in Hong Kong.

The ensuing reaction from China was to sever ties with the Rockets, pull sponsors from exhibition games in China, and even stop showing all NBA preseason games on TV for a bit. The NBA’s response was, initially, tepid, trying to thread the impossible needle of supporting the free speech of its players, coaches, and executives while also appeasing China, and recent comments from Adam Silver have more strongly intimated that the league will support the free speech rights of those that work there. There were calls from members of Congress for the league to cancel the games in China, which went on despite frustrations expressed by players on the Lakers and Nets, the two teams that traveled to China for preseason games this year, to Adam Silver with the situation.

And, of course, the president weighed in by launching jabs at frequent critic Steve Kerr.

All of this was, seemingly, dying out until Monday night, when LeBron James met with the media for the first time since returning from China, where players didn’t speak to the media. LeBron began by saying it was a delicate situation and he and the rest of the Lakers hadn’t, and still don’t, feel informed enough to speak strongly on the situation. He followed that up by criticizing Daryl Morey for a “misinformed or not really educated” tweet, and said he should’ve considered the ramifications of his actions before the tweet.

Now, in his semi-apology/statement on the matter, Morey had said he was voicing opinions based on one point of view and said he had more to do in learning about the situation. LeBron would later clarify that he meant Morey was misinformed on the ramifications of the tweet, rather than the issue of Hong Kong’s sovereignty or the protests efforts at seeking democracy.

The backlash to LeBron’s comments was swift, so the clarification wasn’t a surprise as this was a rare misstep in public commentary from one of the league’s strongest voices on social issues. James, in retrospect, should have stuck with his initial statement that it was a delicate situation and he didn’t want to speak any further on it.

Instead, by criticizing Morey for sending out the tweet without thinking about the ramifications for the league, he comes off as delivering the company line, one so many used during Colin Kaepernick’s protests in insisting he should do them “on his time.”

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