Tuesday, October 15, 2019

LeBron James, As He Is

On Christmas Day, I wrote that Huffington Post had reported the previous day

The Los Angeles Lakers star apologized Sunday for sharing a “getting that Jewish money” lyric from the rap song “asmr” by 21 Savage.

“We been getting that Jewish money / Everything is Kosher,” (LeBron) James typed onto his Instagram story entry.

“Entourage” producer Doug Ellin and others online took offense, informing the superstar that the words reinforced a harmful stereotype.

In his mea culpa, James said he thought the words were positive.

Mr. James, it was clear, was either stupid or a bigot and I suggested that he is not stupid. I still believe that. However, whatever his unfortunate thought processes

“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 and he spoke,” James said before a preseason game Monday. “And so many people could have been harmed not only financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually.”

His comments come less than two weeks after Morey tweeted an image captioned: “Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong.” He quickly deleted it and apologized, saying he “did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China.”

However, backlash toward Morey and the NBA has continued. Chinese fans and the team’s partners in Beijing have expressed outrage at the NBA executive for backing the Chinese-ruled region, where protesters have for months been holding pro-democracy demonstrations that have led to violent clashes with police.

James later clarified in a tweet that he was not commenting on Morey’s tweet itself ― or “the substance” of the tweet ― but rather on the GM tweeting something political without thinking about the consequences.

“I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen,” James said in a two-part tweet. “Could have waited a week to send it... I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet.”

Shorter James: maybe Morey is right but it doesn't matter. I have a swoosh to protect.

Or maybe James isn't motivated by his ability to reap hundreds of millions of dollars more through his association with Nike. In December LeBron promoted the song with lyrics including "We been gettin' that Jewish money, everything is Kosher (On God), bought myself a 'Ventador and bought my bitch a Roadster(Straight up)."  Now he is defending against criticism a government which has placed an estimated one tothree million Uighurs, most of them Muslims, into concentration camps.

It is not a good look for LeBron James, an apologist for anti-Semitism and concentration camps. Also not a good look: if of twelve Democrats on the stage tonight in Columbus, no one speaks out against the regime in Beijing.

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