Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said during an exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Wednesday that basketball star LeBron James should stand up for freedom of speech in Hong Kong, instead of siding with the Chinese Communist regime who is trying to brutally suppress it.
After Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey prompted a backlash from China and the National Basketball Association (NBA) after he tweeted in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, James criticized Morey for not being “educated” when he spoke and suggested that criticizing China could hurt the NBA financially.
Asked what he would tell James, Paul — a libertarian staunchly against communism — said, “You know, I’d say, LeBron, it’s time to step up, understand what your country’s about, understand what made our country great, which is freedom. Being allowed to speak, being allowed to be treated equally regardless of your race, these are great things about our country — and they don’t have them in China.”
“He should stand up. And it shouldn’t be about making a buck in China. Because frankly, there are a lot of people in our country who make a lot less than LeBron James, but they’re willing to stand up for freedom of speech and the people in Hong Kong and I think if LeBron would think about it, then maybe he could stand up and do something to help the people of Hong Kong,” he added.
Paul recently authored The Case Against Socialism, which delves into how socialism has killed millions in China and all over the world, but is growing in popularity on the left in America.
The book cover’s inside flap reads, “Socialist dictatorships like the People’s Republic of China crush freedom of speech and run massive surveillance sates while masquerading as enlightened modern nations. Far from providing economic freedom, socialist governments enslave their citizens.”
Asked about the NBA’s response to Morey’s tweet, Paul said, “It makes me sad.”
“I think of when the world sort of rallied against apartheid…and the world came together and said we’re going to boycott. College students got together, and it was sort of actually — sort of a proud moment that people voluntarily changed the world by getting rid of apartheid.”
“I think it’s a weakness for LeBron James or the NBA. Look, I’m all for money, I’m all for capitalism, but they’re whining they might lose a little money from China,” he said. “You think LeBron James could live with a couple million less? He probably makes 80 to 100 million a year, you know?”
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