Lebron James Experiences Blowback After Walking Off Court Before National Anthem Finishes
Lebron James has been known to push the envelope here and there throughout his basketball career. However, James chose to yell and walk off the court prior to the national anthem closing before an NBA game – and fans are not happy.
James chose to criticize the GM of the Houston Rockets a while back when the GM sided with Hong Kong protesters against the communist Chinese totalitarianism. Since then, he’s been dealing with a lot of condemnation and disapproval.
At the latest Lakers-Clippers game, Lebron James yelled “Let’s go” and walked off the court, right before the national anthem had finished. While those who support the basketball player say that the song was just about over, many others question if he did it deliberately since the song was clearly not over yet.
To add more fuel to the controversy, retired NBA player Shaq O’Neal has come out publicly to support Daryl Morey, the GM of the Rockets, and the comments made against China. O’Neal explained that it was “unfortunate” for both parties, especially when some people don’t know what they’re talking about. He says that Morey was right. Morey said “That’s not right” in regards to what China was doing and O’Neal supports his right to say that.
Lebron James has had a growing ego for the past few years, trying to see what he can get away with. He’s been known to display childish antics at games in the past. However, knowing how well Kaepernick’s stunt went with the NFL when he kneeled during the anthem, there’s no way that James didn’t think that this would come back to get him.
Anyone in sports who wants to keep their job knows that there are certain things you do. You follow the rules, you support your general manager, and you make sure that you stand for the national anthem. Otherwise, you run the risk of being ostracized and potentially lose your job. After all, Kaepernick is a perfect example of what happens when you go against the grain – no team wants to work with him because of the controversy, so he’s a pro football player with no contract.
Lebron James is arrogant. He thought that he could get away with being disrespectful because he wins games. However, he didn’t win the Clippers game that night, with a loss for the Lakers. The final score was 112 to 102 with the Clippers taking home the victory. While it was because of skill and not vindication, it didn’t hurt that all of the Clippers players stayed standing and silent as a sign of respect while the national anthem played rather than yelling “Let’s go” and storming off of the court as a certain Lakers player did.
The reason that people are against Lebron James isn’t just because he walked off during the national anthem. Fans are mad at that as well as how he was against protesters in Hong Kong. Protesters in Hong Kong even chose to burn his jersey in protest. There’s been a significant amount of backlash and nothing that James says seems to help.
During a pregame interview in Los Angeles, James said that he didn’t support what the GM of the Rockets was tweeting, saying that the General Manager was probably “misinformed” when he shared something that said to stand for freedom and support Hong Kong.
There are many people wondering why NBA players are getting involved in something so political, to begin with. Many celebrities feel as though they can take a political stance, so that’s nothing new. However, there were also quite a few pre-season games played in China, so the NBA pretty much forced the players to get political by bringing them into that kind of environment.
James has taken to Twitter furiously in order to try to clear things up. He has said on multiple occasions since that he wasn’t discussing the substance, instead, he was referring to the timing. He said that not only his team but the entire league has been through a difficult week. He felt that everything would have gone over better, and been better received if Morey had waited a week to send the tweet.
The damage has been done, though. Now, people want Lebron James to come out and say whether he supports the Hong Kong protesters or not – they want a yes or no answer. That’s not something that the normally outspoken NBA star is prepared to do, most likely for fear of additional backlash from the public.