‘Unacceptable’: Fans, Media Erupt After LeBron James’ Outburst During National Anthem

LeBron James
Getty Images/Sean M. Haffey

The NBA was understandably excited to start its season and get away from the China controversy that had embroiled the league over the past couple weeks.

However, even more controversy ensued on Tuesday night and on into Wednesday as video surfaced showing LeBron James walking off the court and screaming while the national anthem played.

Watch:

The internet did not take kindly to James’ ill-timed and disrespectful outburst:

James faced a firestorm of criticism after saying that Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey “wasn’t educated” on the China-Hong-Kong issue, before he sent a message of support to pro-democracy protesters earlier this month.

While backpedaling, James said that he is not a politician, and said that not “every issue should be everyone’s problem.”

Since that time, James has said he will no longer talk about the NBA-China rift. The Lakers star forward also did not have any comment about his disrespect towards the flag on Tuesday night.

The NBA faced serious financial hardship after China retaliated against the league by canceling promotional events and several business arrangements. It should also be noted that James has several financial interests in China outside the NBA. Most notably, Nike’s extremely lucrative sales in China, plus the deal that James’ production company has in the development of Space Jam 2 which is expected to do very well in the communist country.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn

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