After NBA star LeBron James was skewered for criticizing Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, a Chinese immigrant and author said on Thursday that James is “rightly being criticized.”
“LeBron is somebody who once proudly said that he and other NBA players have no interest in getting an invitation from Donald Trump to go to the White House,” Ying Ma, the author of "Chinese Girl in the Ghetto," told “Fox & Friends.”
Ma went on to say, “This is a president who is democratically elected by the American people but yet, at the same time, [James] has got no problem bowing to the Chinese communist government, which is repressive in so many different ways.”
Ma’s comments came after James received backlash Monday night after he criticized Morey's tweet as "misinformed". He responded to backlash later in the evening, tweeting that Morey's message "could have waited a week."
“I’m not here to judge how the league handled the situation," the 15-time All-Star told reporters in Los Angeles on Monday night.
"I just think that, when you’re misinformed or you’re not educated about something -- and I’m just talking about the tweet itself -- you never know the ramifications that can happen. We all see what that did, not only did for our league but for all of us in America, for people in China as well. Sometimes you have to think through the things that you say that may cause harm not only for yourself but for the majority of people. I think that’s just a prime example of that.”
James, who's considered one of the more outspoken athletes on social justice issues in a league that prides itself on being one of the most progressive in sports, was uncharacteristically deferential to NBA and Chinese leadership in his remarks about Morey's tweet of the slogan "Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong."
Ma said James wants to be seen as "brave" for fighting on social justice issues against the Trump administration, but "is not showing a lot of bravery" when it comes to China's bullying.
"That's where the hypocrisy and cowardice comes in," she said.
Fox News' Cody Derespina contributed to this report.