James criticized the Houston Rockets general manager Monday night, saying he wasn't "educated" on what was happening abroad. "I believe he wasn't educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke," James said, per THR. "So many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically, emotionally, spiritually."
Though James later attempted to add some clarity to his remarks via a pair of tweets, his comments have not played well. Kanter, for example, used the opportunity to speak from personal experience on the importance of messages of support from those in a position of power like Morey. The Turksih-born Kanter has long been a strong opponent of Turkish President Recep Erdogan, and tweeted about how that country's regime has affected his life.
"Freedom is not free," he said.
James' comments sparked major backlash in the sports world and beyond, with many opting to point out a certain tweet from the basketball star circa January 2018, in which he quoted Martin Luther King Jr. with "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
The comments have also been condemned due to what’s at stake for others who have expressed support for protesters in Hong Kong. Earlier this month, for example, a Hearthstone player was suspended after streaming a "Liberate Hong Kong" message.