- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 16, 2019

NBA star LeBron James says he’s done talking about China’s human rights record because players are “not politicians.”

The athlete who openly supported Hillary Clinton and wore “equality” shoes to protest President Trump’s administration told reporters that Hong Kong protests won’t be discussed moving forward.

“I won’t talk about it again because I’d be cheating my teammates by continuing to harp on something that won’t benefit us trying to win a championship,” the Los Angeles Lakers star said Wednesday. “We’re not politicians. I think it’s a huge political thing, but we are leaders and we can step up at times.”

Mr. James’ comments come in the wake of a controversy that erupted when Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted on Oct. 4, “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”

The league issued an apology for the tweet and Mr. James eventually weighed in by saying the general manager “wasn’t educated on the situation.”

“So many people could have been harmed, not just financially but physically, emotionally, spiritually,” Mr. James told reporters Monday. “So just be careful what we tweet and what we say and what we do, even though yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that too.”

The athlete, however, has not hesitated to speak on political issues over the years.

“This is a beautiful country and we’re never going to let one person dictate how beautiful and how powerful we are,” he said of Mr. Trump in December 2017. “Obviously, I’ve been … very outspoken and well-spoken about the situation that’s going on at the helm here. Equality is all about understanding our rights, understanding what we stand for and how powerful we are as men and as women, black or white or Hispanic. It doesn’t matter your race.”

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