New York Post columnist Miranda Devine said Tuesday that NBA star LeBron James has “shown that he has sold his soul for money” after James criticized Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet supporting pro-democracy protests in Hong-Kong.
“He should’ve been big enough and strong enough to risk his Nike contract,” Devine told “The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino.”
James was skewered Monday night after he criticized Morey’s tweet as “misinformed”. He responded to backlash later in the evening, tweeting Morey’s message “could have waited a week.”
“I’m not here to judge how the league handled the situation,” the 15-time All-Star told reporters in Los Angeles on Monday night. “I just think that, when you’re misinformed or you’re not educated about something — and I’m just talking about the tweet itself — you never know the ramifications that can happen. We all see what that did, not only did for our league but for all of us in America, for people in China as well. Sometimes you have to think through the things that you say that may cause harm not only for yourself but for the majority of people. I think that’s just a prime example of that.”
On “The Daily Briefing,” Devine listed some of the ways Chinese President Xi Jinping is causing harm to Hong Kong protestors as part of her critique of James’ comments.
“A teenager has been shot in the chest. They are being tear-gassed. You just had President Xi say the other that there will be shattered bones. There will be broken bodies if this dissent continues against China and LeBron James is complaining about some inconvenience for a week?”
James, who’s considered one of the more outspoken athletes on social justice issues in a league that prides itself on being one of the most progressive in sports, was uncharacteristically deferential to NBA and Chinese leadership in his remarks about Morey’s tweet of the slogan “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”
“Kowtowing to China is the worst thing they [the NBA] possibly could’ve done. It’s incredibly weak of [NBA Comissioner] Adam Silver,” Devine said.
Fox News’ Cody Derespina contributed to this report.