Lebron James makes controversial statement on China

Just when you thought the controversy between the NBA and China might be dying down, a new statement by superstar Lebron James has fanned the flames all over again.

In a statement given to reporters prior to a Lakers game on Monday, James said that the pro-Hong Kong remarks made by Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey - the catalyst to the current tensions between China and the NBA - were "misinformed" and that Morey was "not educated" on the situation.

That statement left a lot of fans understandably confused and incensed by these comments, especially coming from a player who has previously been very vocal on matters of social justice.

China has had a long history of limiting its citizens' rights to free expression, and the current situation in Hong Kong has thrust that issue further into the global spotlight as China uses its economic strength as a deterrent to anti-Chinese remarks made by global business partners.

James took to Twitter to clarify his comments further:

LeBron James @KingJames · 13h Let me clear up the confusion. 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.

 LeBron James @KingJames · 13h 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.

Sadly, James' statements didn't really make things any better at all and people were quick to express their disappointment with him:

(((AG))) @AG_Conservative · 13h Replying to  @KingJames You think you guys had a difficult week?  Try talking to some of the protestors in Hong Kong facing violence just for seeking freedom. Or the millions of religious minorities who spent this week in camps in China.   You never considered them when you made your statement...

Dewey Defeats Truman @truman_dewey · 8m Replying to  @KingJames That’s all you got after that “educated” statement sir.  Is your heart AND mind in your wallet sir? You forgot where you came from sir?  I’ve had this attached quote on my profile for a good while; it sir, is important to “re-educate” not in a  Chinese re-education camp either.

Greg Autry @GregWAutry · 53m Replying to  @KingJames You should be a role model for young Americans standing up for freedom, but instead you say this? Do you see what that makes you look like sir? A

There were also plenty of memes and sarcastic reactions as well:

 Vallie Magoo @ragingkumquat · 1h #LeBronJames, Human Rights Activist*  *Subject to change based on how it impacts his paycheck.

Emerald  @hkmyhome1 · 4h Replying to  @JamilSmith It’s sad to see the transformation.... #LeBronJames #StandwithHK