Rockets GM Darryl Morey tweeted his support for Chinese protestors going against the government and all hell has broken loose. The first NBA player to speak out was LeBron James and after receiving backlash Commissioner Adam Silver has come to his defense. King James said that Morey was misinformed about the government in China and should have waited until all NBA players and personnel were back on American soil to make any comments. According to Bleacher Report, Silver feels that players should be able to remain silent on the complicated issue.
“I think that these players, I mean, take LeBron who has an incredible track record of doing things that have changed people’s lives in the United States to be asked to comment on a difficult foreign issue is, I think, again there’s free expression and he should say how he feels,” Silver stated Monday morning on ESPN‘s Get Up. “But, freedom of speech also means the freedom not to speak. And I’ve often said to players about issues here at home: If it’s something you don’t know about and you don’t feel comfortable responding, that’s OK as well. So, it’s been no-win for a lot of those players, so I’m very sympathetic.”
A lot of the players aren’t fully briefed on the pro-democracy fight that China is currently embroiled in. Speaking upon the topic while overseas could not only hurt business since China is such a huge market, but also risk their own safety. Partnership deals have already been scrapped between the league and China that were likely very lucrative and put more on the eyes on the NBA than ever before.
As the tension lessens, hopefully, both parties can move forward and put the fans first.