By now, the whole world has been informed about the protests in Hong Kong and the unrest over the rights for free speech. These protests have hit on a global level and now the whole world is starting to cover these events. The NBA has also thrown their hat in the ring with Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey showing his support for the protest through Twitter - the tweet has since been deleted. The NBA has billions invested in China, so of course, the business took a hit. But what has now made the news is Lebron James stepping out and calling Daryl Morey "uneducated on the issue" and has now called for Adam Silver to punish Morey. Lebron looks like a hypocrite and at the end of the day is looking out for himself and his brand.
What strikes me first is how Lebron is calling for Morey to be punished by the league. Lebron James has been one of the main vocal athletes to criticize Donald Trump time and time again, flexing his right to freedom of speech. He called the President a bum through a tweet back in December 2017 - the NBA never suspended him or even spoke to him about said tweet. Instead, they threw support to him for voicing his position on the current President of the United States. Very hypocritical Lebron, you demand punishment for Morey while you're running full blast bum comments on the President?
Which brings to the point of Lebron calling Morey "uneducated on the issue". I find that hard to believe considering the Houston Rockets have been working in China for years and have a long-standing relationship with the Chinese through former player Yao Ming. Morey has spent time in China working with them and you're claiming he's uneducated?
Lebron if you know so much on this issue, speak on it! Do what you do best when there are big worldwide issues and let your voice be heard! Here's the deal though Lebron won't do that. Why you may ask? Because he's protecting himself and the brand he has. It's all about the money.
I will give Lebron a lot of respect for building his brand with Nike, there's no doubt he knows the business. He knows that if he makes a controversial statement here in the United States, he will take a PR his but people will still come to see him and buy his gear. That doesn't necessarily work everywhere else though, like in China. He has a huge market over there and he wants to protect it. Before recently, the NBA did not have this big relationship with China and when the deal was done billions of dollars came in. He knows that if he gives his support to the protestors, there goes any big-time deal that will ever get done in China ever again and that is a ton of money to lose. Listen, Lebron, just say you're trying to protect your pockets and be done with it, don't insult the guy who has more business pedigree over there than you.
The NBA is in a tough situation and Lebron should've been the guy to back the league. But, when money is on the table he won't do that. He isn't protecting the league, he's protecting himself to keep making money over there. Remember the general manager who has worked in China for many years is not educated on the current issue, but the guy who hasn't said anything is.