Welcome to The Buck Sexton Show everybody. Great to have you here with me. Thank you so much for joining today. The one thing that's gotten everybody really fired up today is this LeBron James situation. Now I'm sure all of you know, without me telling you, but just to put it in the proper context, LeBron James is arguably the best basketball player who has ever lived some of the Michael Jordan fans out there are booing right now. But you know what I mean? LeBron James is a big deal. The guy is certainly worth hundreds of millions of dollars, probably already close to, if not surpassing $1 billion. He is a global sports icon and he was really anointed as one of the biggest athletes, most important athletes in the world back when he was in high school. And he lived up to those expectations, which usually does not seem to be the case. So LeBron James is somebody who has a tremendous audience, a huge platform, is wealthy beyond any normal person's wildest imagination. He's also someone who is woke, he's an individual who depending on the day will share his thoughts on politics, particularly issues that deal with say police violence and other assorted and sundry things out there that he will have to continue to look at. I'm sure now that people are going to be focusing even more on the issues of the day that he tackles. But LeBron James is a guy who talks about things in the political realm, and I had mentioned on this show a week ago, I had mentioned that it would be great if LeBron James would come forward and say something in support of the protesters in Hong Kong. It would be great if LeBron James stepped forward and decided to speak in favor of freedom. He's spoken to a black lives matter. He's spoken about police violence. He's spoken about different issues here. So this is an opportunity given what happened. As we know, you had the general manager of the Houston rockets who criticized gently really, or didn't even criticize the Chinese. He just spoke in support of the Hong Kong protesters and what did LeBron James decide to do? I asked last week, I said, where's Lebron? Where's the King? Where's the man himself? Perhaps the single most famous, most powerful figure in professional sports today. You could certainly make that argument. The NBA is all about weighing in on politics, telling us how woke they are. We know that they will protest. They will support people protesting the national Anthem. They'll wear a hoodies in solidarity with Trayvon Martin. All these different very political acts and LeBron himself had even at one point, I'm trying to find this tweet. From earlier this year. LeBron James, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Wow. Bold talk, strong words from King James. Then he decided to speak on the China issue and my, Oh my, it was a disaster.
Wow. LeBron James, a man who will never have to worry about putting food on the table, not just for himself or his family, but for generations of his family to come. Based on the amount of money he has amassed. A global icon who in no danger of losing his job or anything. He could have just not said anything about this. I asked last week, I said LeBron is woke. He is social justice aware. Now's the opportunity for him to take a stand for people who could really use it. And by the way, the Chinese market is huge for the NBA. But Chinese support Hong Kong's support for NBA players like LeBron is also very, very strong. It would have meant a lot. Just some words of solidarity. But instead of that, what did we get? Lebron James saying that the general manager of the Houston rockets was not educated on the issue when he said that he was in support of freedom for the people of Hong Kong.
Oh no. Quite the contrary, I think. I think the Houston rockets GM was right on the money and I think that people understand that. And Daryl Morey did exactly the right thing from a moral, ethical perspective. You could say from a business perspective, it wasn't a good idea. But LeBron James comes forward to show us that all that social justice stuff, you know, it's easy to take a knee in the United States. And don't even get me started on Colin Kaepernick. The guy's a backup quarterback he's at a point in his career where his value as a professional player is just not what it once was and all of a sudden he takes a knee and now he's like a Nike superstar. He's a sports icon. Forget about the fact that he wore the socks with pig police officers on them. We're just supposed to skip past that. Oh, he's a sports icon. All right. A lot of people are very disappointed in LeBron James right now.
I would say let's be serious about this folks. Is it really a surprise? Is it really a surprise that professional athletes who have the option as far as I'm concerned, to avoid politics and just be professionals in what they do and share their opinions privately, but to use their public platform for political issues that opens them up. That means now that anybody's allowed to have an opinion, anyone's allowed to decide that they will criticize what these players have to say. LeBron James shows us whether he's really brave or not and unfortunately came up quite short and it also makes it a lot of people question, what about all these athletes who are talking about justice and the need for fighting for what's right and well, that's all good. When fighting for justice means you sell even more sneakers. You sell even more jerseys and tickets, but what about the consequences, the economic consequences of fighting for justice when it's, when it's hard. Oh, I see. You know, the NBA has been telling players not to, not to speak on this issue. LeBron James speaks out on this issue and says exactly the wrong thing. He had a week to figure out what the response was going to be on. This is what he comes up with, but there's a bigger issue here. It's not just about LeBron James and the NBA, although should we really have expected more? I leave that to you. China, which is a situation that president Trump has been tackling from the beginning of his presidency. We have a different feeling about how to deal with China now going forward than we did in the past because of Trump. China has tremendous influence over decisions that my friends are affecting you and me right now. China has control over parts of the media narrative here in America, and really there can be no better example of just how culturally and economically influential China is. Then to have a globally famous NBA superstar bend the knee to Beijing's communist party for fear of losing out on the almighty dollar. That sends a very strong message, doesn't it? And it sends a message. I think also about what our future is going to be unless we wake up and accept that this is not going to be easy. Just like the trade fight that Trump has started is not easy. The fight for the truth about China, what's going on inside of China, what that country is doing around the world that's going to become increasingly complicated. Journalists like to talk about how brave they are. Celebrities always think that they're brave when they take political stands, but most of them are just idiots. But journalists think that they're brave until all of a sudden ownership has a different feeling about things. Then it changes rather rapidly, doesn't it? How does China influences, how far does that influence go?
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