On Tuesday night, ESPN tweeted a video of LeBron James yelling during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Subsequently, some fans aren’t happy.
It was the season opener for the Lakers, and before the anthem was finished, the sports star walked away, shouting, “Let’s go!”
ESPN took it to be the shout of a man fired up to win; do you?
LeBron is READY 😤 pic.twitter.com/oPAKxy7QrL
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) October 23, 2019
The timing wasn’t particularly good, given the power forward’s recent controversial comments about China and free speech — he called Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey’s tweeted defense of Hong Kong freedom protests uneducated, in addition to pointing out the “negative” potential of free speech:
These T-shirts, approximately 13,000 of them, were printed and hauled out to downtown L.A. in a moving van and are currently being handed out on the streets surrounding Staples Center for free, hours before Lakers-Clippers tips off pic.twitter.com/snbGdd5zSG
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 23, 2019
In response to his pumped-up walkaway, some outraged onlookers suggested he would’ve been more respectful of the Chinese national anthem.
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) October 23, 2019
And there was this:
— Bryan Dob (@bryan_dob) October 23, 2019
And, might I say, it’s tremendous.
The tweets of the unenthused:
What a classless disrespectful move to the country that gave you the opportunity to make billions of dollars @KingJames. You’re more than welcome to leave anytime you want and don’t come back. Put your hand over your heart and say thank you. https://t.co/72bihf44wu
— Turner Wintz (@19tmoney19) October 23, 2019
— WHOsaystowearamask? (@FrankMarro) October 23, 2019
Couldn’t have waited until after the national anthem ended…….🤷🏼♂️
— Kyle Heppeard (@KyleHeppeard) October 23, 2019
— Santagold (@mrsantagold) October 23, 2019
In reaction to Daryl’s remarks, China cut all business ties with the Rockets.
Then there was this, as reported by the Washington Examiner:
The NBA apologized to China before backlash forced NBA commissioner Adam Silver to say they stood by Morey and freedom of speech.
China has said the differences on the issue of free speech might have no “reconciliation.”
China has shut down the airing of the NBA preseason in its country and has threatened future business with the NBA if the league continues to speak against the Communist Party.
LeBron didn’t want anything else to do with the China issue:
“Let me clear up the confusion. I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the (Morey) tweet. I’m not discussing the substance. Others can talk About that.”
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) October 15, 2019
Well, now they’re talking about something else.
But it’s still him.
Do you take LeBron’s shout over the anthem as disrespect? Or was he just too ready to rumble? Let us all know in the Comments section.
See 3 more pieces from me:
Find all my RedState work here.
Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.