On behalf of the 327 million American citizens who generally believe that freedom is good and authoritarian regimes are less good, let me apologize to LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.
It must have been a real inconvenience to take that 13-hour chartered flight to China last week and hang around a luxury hotel in Shanghai for five days while promotional appearances got canceled. Surely it was awful to be in the middle of an international firestorm where the stakes were so high: Would preseason NBA games be played or not?
And to think, LeBron and his teammates were so disrupted all because Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey had the temerity to send a relatively anodyne tweet supporting a protest that pretty much every one of his countrymen — whether on the left or right side of the political spectrum — would agree with over the rights Hong Kongers were promised when the United Kingdom handed control of the territory over to China in 1997.
Because as James tweeted on Monday night, trying to clarify comments he made to the media earlier in the evening: “My team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it.”