I’m a big NBA fan. I’ve been this way pretty much all of my life. And I like Lebron James. He has been the best basketball player on the planet for the past nearly 15 years. But he has just now stuck his foot in a big hole of you know what by speaking out two different times against Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey’s tweet image a week ago Friday. It read, “Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong.” It is a statement supporting the democracy protestors in Hong Kong. This is now my fourth post on this subject.
James first tweeted about Morey’s tweet, saying “So many people could have been harmed, not only physically or financially, but emotionally and spiritually.” He meant NBA players and perhaps others associated with the NBA. I agree with James that with hindsight, it would have been better for Morey to wait a week while the pre-season games in China played out. But James is only talking about how it affects the NBA. His statement reveals no concern for what Morey was concerned about–the Hong Kong protestors who are risking their lives to try to keep from being taken over by Communist China and perhaps even instituting more of a Hong Kong democracy.
James was saying that Morey was ill-informed about the issue. Lebron was not precise about this. He seemed to mean Daryl didn’t realize how his tweet could upset China and hurt the NBA. Well, I’ll be! Shame on him. But Mr. James–the guy who loves to speak out on matters of justice, even in politics–did not indicate that Mr. Morey was ill-informed about China being a communistic state, where there is not much freedom but lots of propaganda, and the history of Hong Kong on this issue. Instead, James seemed to say he would not discuss that part of the matter.
Why not, Lebron? To most Americans, that IS the main issue, not how Morey’s tweet displeasured Chinese authorities and may have caused you and the NBA to lose some yuan. Lebron, maybe you are the main person, here, who needs to get more informed. We’re talking about democracy. You are a very rich man because of it. If you had been born in China with your basketball skills and not gone to America to display them, you likely would be in the China Basketball Association league, now headed by former Rockets’ NBA All-Star Yao Ming. And if so, you sure wouldn’t be the rich man and famous person that you are now. Why? Pure and simple: Communism.Hong Kong was a British colony starting in 1842 and thus separate from mainland China. In 1898, Britain wound up with a 99-year lease on Hong Kong and some adjacent territory. When it expired, in 1997, the UK asked then Communist China to extend the lease on all of this territory that had known only freedom like Britain and had excelled as developing an admirable business community greater than anything China had. China’s ruling Politburo refused this UK request. The UK then agreed to transfer Hong Kong and Kowloon to China with the promise that its citizens would continue to have their democratic government for at least the next 50 years. China agreed, and this relationship between China and Hong Kong and Kowloon came to be called “one country, two systems.”
But over four months ago, Hong Kong’s parliament passed Fugitive Offenders bill proposed by Chief Executive Carrie Lam. It requires extradition of certain lawbreakers to China for trial in its courts. This caused an outbreak of protestors against this bill and more. They want Hong Kong to not only be rid of this law but implement full democracy with no authoritarian connection to mainland China at all. Sounds kinda like that old tea party in Boston to me.
In the history of the USA, our country has been the beacon of the world in promoting freedom and democracy. We went through the Cold War in which the U.S. and Communistic Soviet Union were the two superpowers in the world with entirely different systems of government. Under Soviet communism, there was little or no freedom of expression, assembly, religious, etc., whereas that is what the USA is all about. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev said to the USA, “we’ll bury you.” We fought wars over this issue of Communism, such as the Korean War and Vietnam War, that indirectly involved Communist China.
If Lebron James was going to make such a stew in opposing Daryl Morey’s tweet, he should not have done that and then said he would not discuss what is really the main issue here. Does Lebron James know much about this? He is a guy like a lot of NBA stars now who, different from years gone by, did not attend college but went right into the NBA after graduating from high school. I’m wondering if passing up a college education is hurting some of these NBA players concerning their knowledge, or lack thereof, about communism, democracy, and how people are governed.