It's not the first time that LeBron James has seen people burn his jersey because he said something.
But earlier fierce fan dissatisfaction concerns the NBA superstar switching squads – Tuesday's setback was a matter of world politics and had the potential to have a much more lasting impact on the multi-year All-Star's career manager. James sparked outrage in Hong Kong after saying that Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey was "misinformed" when he tweeted his support for the pro-democracy demonstrators. James later doubled in a series of tweets and reiterated that Morey's decision to tweet the news on the eve of the NBA's exhibition trip to China was a bad timing.
In response, a large group was seen among the masses of demonstrators from Hong Kong stomping on jerseys and shirts bearing the name of the superstar ̵
1; and even gathering to watch the burning of one of the garments demonstrator stomps on Lebron James jerseys during one Rally on the Southorn Playground in Hong Kong, Tuesday, October 15, 2019. (AP Photo / Mark Schiefelbein) “/>
A protester stomps on Lebron James jerseys during a rally on the Southorn Playground in Hong Kong Hong Kong, Tuesday, October 15, 2019 . (AP Photo / Mark Schiefelbein)
James, who was one of the most prominent athletes on social justice issues in the US in a league that prides himself on being one of the most progressive in sports, was respectful to the NBA and the Chinese government when he spoke broke silence over Morey's utterances days after his return to the US after playing two games before the season in China. Morey had tweeted, "Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong ", last week before the preparatory games of the Rockets in Japan.
The tweet had implications for the NBA's outcome as the Chinese government blocked the Tencent streaming service and several Chinese sportswear brands or cut rocket ties. In this climate, James made his first comments on the controversy on Monday night.
"I'm not here to judge how the league handled the situation," he told reporters. "I just think that if you are misinformed or if you are not informed about something – and I'm just talking about the tweet itself – you never know what the consequences will be – we all see what this is not just for ours League, but for all of us in America, including the people of China, and sometimes you have to think about things that can harm not just yourself, but also the majority of people, and I think that's just a textbook example for it. "
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In a tweet he added: "My team and this league have just had a difficult week behind them. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I think nobody stopped and thought about what would happen. Had a week to wait for the shipment.
In Hong Kong, demonstrators blew up James' message.
"People are angry," said James Lo, a web designer who runs a basketball fan page on Facebook, adding he hopes for more reaction from protesters demonstrating on the street and battling the police for fear that the international business community would lose its freedom.
"Students, they come out like every weekend," said James Lo. "They got tear gas, and then like everyone else The police beat students and then innocent people like every day, and then he just remembers something [like that tweet]. We just can not accept that. "
A demonstrator wearing the Houston Rockets jersey holds up his hand with other demonstrators at a rally on the Southorn Playground in Hong Kong on Tuesday, October 15, 2019. (AP Photo / Mark Schiefelbein)
Protesters also said that James's comments made a double standard because the star of the Los Angeles Lakers used his fame and fame to promote social issues found only in the US.
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"Please remember, all NBA players, what you said earlier, are black people important. & # 39; Hong Kong's life is important too! "Said William Mok before an applauding crowd of protesters.
Others said James was probably more concerned about the protection of his assets than the geopolitical issues of his supporters in Hong Kong.
"James tried, you, I want to put myself on the side of China, which is ridiculous," said Aaron Lee, a 36-year-old marketing director. "He was honest and financially. Financially, there is money. It's that simple. LeBron James stands for money. Period.
Protesters set fire to a Lebron James jersey during a rally on the Southorn Playground in Hong Kong, Tuesday, October 15, 2019. (AP Photo / Mark Schiefelbein)
Before James plunged into the Hong Kong controversy, he had advocated social justice. In his HBO discussion show, "The Shop," James debated in March his respect for former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who unleashed the knee-jerk trend during the national anthem to raise awareness of perceived racial bias in the justice system. But Kaepernick soon found himself out of work as NFL franchisees uniformly refused to bring the lightning rod on board.
"Cape stood for something bigger than him," James said. "How many people can wake up and say, you know what, I'll give up everything I've worked on all my life to improve the conversation, I'll lose everything I personally have to improve it." the conversation? "