News that NBA-affiliated Chinese coaches are physically abusing their participants has sent shock waves across the NBA. LeBron’s silence on this issue has caused his critics to react rather sharply.
An ESPN investigative report revealed that few American coaches have expressed concerns over their Chinese counterparts physically abusing several players in multiple NBA-affiliated youth basketball camps. Many speculate that due to the nature of the financial success of the deal, the NBA has been willing to turn a blind eye towards the unusual methods in China.
LeBron James’ China Silence
Social issues is something LeBron is very outspoken about. He helped form ‘More Than a Vote’ in response to the horrific murder of George Floyd on May 25. The organisation is dedicated to mobilizing African American voters and fighting voter suppression across the country.
So, him not speaking out about this has resulted in him being on the wrong end of harsh criticism.
LeBron James was earlier too been called out by Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong for keeping mum on the Hong Kong issue. It has been signalled by a lot of people that LeBron only talks about social issues that affect him.
The Lakers star is now again being subjected to a lot of criticism for not speaking out on how upcoming athletes in China are being subjected to some really heinous coaching methods.
Fans demand answers and are making their wrath felt on social media, specifically calling out LeBron to address the issue, just like he does when anything bad happens in the US.
Kudos to @ESPN investigative unit for exposing the truths the @NBA has tried to protect and cover up for a long time. Wonder what #AdamSilver @KingJames @SteveKerr and other outspoken critics of US policies will say about this unholy alliance? https://t.co/7w3gYvKICu
— Tony Bruno (@TonyBrunoShow) July 29, 2020
NBA is a $8 billion business in China. @KingJames is either ignorant about what is happening in China or is fully aware and doesn’t want to upset the apple cart. Not sure which is worse. But it’s pretty clear why Houston’s GM was immediately shut down.
— SteveB (@BlinnPR) July 30, 2020
LeBron James rly tryna fight for the “human rights” issue in America when there was an actual human rights issue going on in China and he praised China to keep his pockets filled.
— Benji (@InBrodieWeTrust) July 30, 2020
Not just James
It is not just LeBron who is facing the heat on social media. Other prominent members of the NBA community have also been tagged by multiple critics on Twitter. Some of the names include Commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, who has worked tirelessly to ensure that the NBA restart in Orlando runs smoothly.
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) July 30, 2020
Steve Kerr, coach of the Warriors, is another commonly mentioned name in those tweets. The Golden State Warriors are one of the more popular teams in China. Perhaps this is why critics are expecting him to make a comment.
Why is LeBron James silent on the China issue?
Both on the field and off the field, LeBron is the poster boy for the NBA. However, his silence on this deeply disturbing issue is causing many critics to doubt the intention behind the silence. Many of the harsher critics argue that LeBron is not only protecting the NBA from criticism but also ensuring the safety of this personal relationship with the one-billion-dollar market China is.
Or perhaps, he is more focused on the upcoming NBA restart against their local rivals the LA Clippers. Many predict that this is a preview to the Western Conference Finals.