Former ESPN anchor Bob Ley has asked LeBron James to please speak out against the human rights violations in China.
On an Athletic podcast, Ley questioned the athletes and media constantly criticizing American golfers for their participation in Saudi-backed LIV while remaining silent on the relationship between the NBA and China.
“It’s really easy to be pissed off and angry about LIV Golf and the Saudis. All I ask for is philosophical and ideological consistency,” Ley said. “Apply it to China consistently, LeBron.”
The NBA and LeBron — who used his power to silence critics of the CCP — are hypocrites. They spend much time bashing the state of America while ignoring what’s going on in China, a country where there’s an ongoing genocide against Muslim Uyghurs.
For gory details: Uyghurs are subjected to slave labor, concentration camps, torture, rape, and forced abortions in the Xinjiang region.
However, pointing these atrocities out is a dangerous game for LeBron and players alike. It’s financially risky.
See, criticizing America is advantageous to your brand — it makes you look politically correct. Bashing the LIV is now hip. Yet going after China has consequences in terms of profit.
According to ESPN, 40 principal owners in the NBA have around $10 billion tied up in Chinese investments.
On the player side, a report found that 17 NBA players make tens of millions from sneakers produced by Chinese slave labor.
Former NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom recently discussed with OutKick the NBA’s phony social justice campaign.
“Most people only do social justice work and all the civil rights work for their own PR because it looks good on their resume. They are not genuine. And speaking out is only good for your resume in certain cases.”
So props to Bob Ley for pointing out the obvious. But, unfortunately, it won’t have an impact. More likely than LeBron criticizing China is a media lackey chastising Ley for daring to hold LeBron and China accountable. My money is on ESPN host J.A. Adande, an actual downplayer of genocide in China.
“LeBron, I think, has a responsibility, and an opportunity more importantly. And it’s easy for people to come to the conclusion that players, at a time when social voice and equity are very much a part of sports, more so than ever before, here’s an opportunity to make a stand. If you are a billionaire, you can afford to perhaps make a stand and at least become educated,” Ley concluded.
Absolutely. But Lebon is a hypocrite who cares about his brand, not the human rights he brands himself around.