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.

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Silver said that the media coverage of the NBA’s response to Morey’s tweet “frankly was confusing to me when I got home [from China]. Only because I had thought we’d taken a principled position. I thought we hadn’t so-called acquiesced to the Chinese.”


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