Protesters in Hong Kong have burned LeBron James jerseys after the NBA star said that freedom of speech can lead to a lot of negative
Protestors in Hong Kong have burned LeBron James jerseys after the NBA star said that freedom of speech can lead to a lot of negative.
James made his comments after the fallout between the NBA and China over the anti-government protests in Hong Kong. The lucrative relationship between the league and China has been damaged since the Houston Rockets general manager, Daryl Morey, tweeted in support of the protestors earlier this month. Morey subsequently deleted the tweet but China has threatened to cut ties with the NBA, and some Chinese companies have backed out of broadcasts and sponsorship deals.
On Tuesday, a group of around 200 gathered on courts amid Hong Kongs high-rise buildings, chanting support for Morey and obscene epithets about James. One person threw a ball at a photo of James while others burned and trampled on jerseys bearing his name.
People are angry, said James Lo, a web designer who runs a Hong Kong basketball fan page on Facebook. He said hes already received a video from a protester that showed him burning a No 23 jersey bearing James name.
On Monday, James was asked about the strained relationship between the NBA and China. I dont want to get into a … feud with Daryl but I believe he wasnt educated about the situation at hand and he spoke, James said. Just be careful what we tweet … even though, yes, we do have freedom of speech. But there can be a lot of negative that comes with that too. James later said he meant Morey wasnt educated on the repercussions of the tweet rather than the situation in Hong Kong. Law enforcement have used live ammunition on civilians after months of demonstrations in Hong Kong.
Lo said Jamess comments had infuriated many in Hong Kong. Students, they come out like every weekend, said Lo. Theyve got tear gassed and then they got gun-shot, like every weekend. Police beating students and then innocent people, like every day. And then he just comes up with something [like] that. We just cant accept that.