LeBron isn’t a hypocrite. Why are people saying he is?
The situation between the NBA and China has received more press coverage in the past week or so than many things that don’t have to do with Donald Trump. However, what has upset people more than Daryl Morey upsetting China with a tweet calling for the liberation of Hong Kong is LeBron James coming out and saying that Morey should’ve been more careful with his choice of words. So why is everyone so mad?
People are calling him a hypocrite for saying that we shouldn’t say negative things about China yet he can say negative things about the current U.S. administration. I disagree 100%. LeBron’s logic in what he said is simple: if you’re in a different country with a different culture and different values, the first thing you absolutely CANNOT do is try and force your ideals on them. A much more extreme example of this would be colonization, and we all know how badly that’s turned out in the history books.
Perhaps he didn’t choose the best words to express himself, but the fact of the matter is that he did the right thing. He expressed the fact that we should respect the cultures and customs of our hosts, even if we don’t agree with them. I have to imagine that being stuck in China during this trying time was nerve-wracking for the players, given that they aren’t sure about what’s going to happen. Also, being faced with questions about civil unrest and governmental oppression is not in the job description of these athletes. So it’s actually not that hard to see why LeBron spoke out and tried to calm the situation down.
Another problem here is the issue of “shut up and dribble.” Remember how awful that was? Remember how Fox News didn’t want to hear anything LeBron was saying about social justice issues here in America? Well, after this, Fox News took LeBron’s comments very seriously and criticized him for “kowtowing” to China. I call bullshit. You can’t discard his opinion for one issue and then consider it super-seriously on another.
Hopefully, we can get past this talk of LeBron being a hypocrite regarding China and focus on basketball. After all, the regular season isn’t contested there. It’s contested here.