Los Angeles Lakers' star LeBron James reportedly pushed for the NBA to punish Rockets' General Manager Daryl Morey after he tweeted support for the protestors in Hong Kong.
James claimed that if an NBA player had tweeted something that cost the league money, they would have been punished, and questioned why Morey's actions were not being handled the same, according to Dave McMenamin on ESPN.
In a players meeting on Oct. 9 before the Lakers vs. Nets game in Shanghai, the Athletic reports, James confronted NBA commissioner Adam Silver about Morey's tweets.
"Nearly a week ago today, in a Shanghai hotel room or ballroom, Silver got up and addressed the players, and LeBron James is one of those players who got up and spoke and said, 'Hey, what are we doing here? Daryl Morey made these statements,'" McMenamin said on Tuesday. "You know damn well if a player made the same statements and caused such poor ramifications for the league, there would be some sort of league recourse."
"There would be repercussions the player has to pay. You know potentially this tweet could cost the NBA hundreds of millions of dollars. That could come out of the players' pockets, and so that's the double standard that was being addressed in that meeting," McMenamin continued.
The new reports come one day after an interview with James went viral where, when questioned, James called Morey, "uneducated on the situation at hand."
Full Transcript of the Interview:
"We all talk about this freedom of speech-yes, we all have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative that happen when you're not thinking about yourself," James said in a press conference following the teams return from China. "I don't want to get into a word or sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn't educated on the situation at hand. He spoke and so many people could have been harmed, not only financially but physically, spiritually so just be careful what we tweet, what we say, and what we do, even though, yes we do have freedom of speech a lot of negatives come from that too."
The comments by LeBron James were lambasted all over Twitter by politicians and fans alike, leading to James attempting to clarify his comments by stating it had nothing to do with 'substance.'
"My team and this league just went through a difficult week," James wrote. "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."
James followed up with another tweet again trying to clear the air.
LeBron James is set to make an estimated $38.2 million per season until his contract runs out in 2021-2022, where his player option increases to $41 million. It is also worth mentioning James signed a $1 billion 'lifetime' endorsement deal with Nike in 2015 and accumulates over $30 million per year from the deal.
The leading manufacturer of Nike shoes is China and Vietnam, each accounting for 36% of the total manufactured worldwide, according to Ohio State University.
While James may not want to discuss the substance of Morey's tweets, it may be time to talk about the substance of Nike and James' lucrative income in the wake of the Hong Kong protests.
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