Warning: Video contains coarse language
Hong Kong citizens took to the streets Tuesday to denounce LeBron James following the Los Angeles Lakers star's comments regarding Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, according to The Associated Press' John Leicester.
Some protesters burned James jerseys and cheered for Morey. James said Monday that the GM "wasn't educated" about the potential impact of his since-deleted tweet supporting pro-democracy protesters in the region.
"Students, they come out like every weekend," James Lo, a Hong Kong web designer, told Leicester. "They've got teargassed and then they got gun-shot. ... Police beating students and then innocent people, like every day. And then he (James) just comes up with something (like) that. We just can't accept that."
Hong Kong protesters have commended Morey for his statement. On Tuesday, they hosted a "Stand with Morey" rally in which they sang "The Star-Spangled Banner," according to the New York Times' Daniel Victor.
On Monday, James addressed the ongoing rift between the Rockets, NBA, and China for the first time.
"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 Los Angeles hosted the Golden State Warriors. "So many people could have been harmed, not only financially but physically, emotionally, spiritually. ...
"Yes, we do have freedom of speech but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that."
Shortly after his comments, James issued a clarification specifying that he was referring to the potential consequences of Morey's tweet as opposed to the subject matter.
Morey posted a graphic that said "Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong" on Oct. 4, less than a week before the Lakers and Nets were set to play the first of two preseason games in mainland China. Chinese companies and the country's basketball association suspended relations with the Rockets in response, and the preseason games were at risk of being called off.