NBA superstar LeBron James on Tuesday attempted to clarify his position after his critical remarks about Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s pro-Hong Kong tweet was widely rebuked on social media.
"We're not politicians," James, the Los Angeles Lakers forward and perhaps the league's most recognizable player, said.
James was slammed on social media after calling Morey’s tweet “misinformed.” The Los Angeles Times reported that James said he didn’t “have a reaction” to the protests in Hong Kong; the criticism was only for the tweet itself.
“I also don’t think every issue should be everybody’s problem as well. When things come up, there’s multiple things that we haven’t talked about that have happened in our own country that we don’t bring up. There’s things that happen in my own community in trying to help my kids graduate high school and go off to college. That’s been my main concern the last couple of years with my school,” he told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday.
James often tweets about the work of his LeBron James Family Foundation.
In Hong Kong, protesters burned and stomped on James jerseys during a rally Tuesday at the Southorn Playground. They threw basketballs at a photo of James and chanted support for Morey and criticism about James’ comments.
“Let me clear up the confusion,” James tweeted Monday. “I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet. I’m not discussing the substance. Others can talk about that. ... My team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it.”
Among the critics of James’ comments Monday night was U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. The former Florida governor, who has been critical of James in the past dating to his decision to leave the Miami Heat in 2014, posted on Twitter that James “is the one who isn’t educated on the situation at hand. It’s sad to see him join the chorus kowtowing to Communist China & putting profits over human rights.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.