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It’s been a long while since any event brought the internet together like National Basketball Association (NBA) player LeBron James defending the brutal communist Chinese regime in order to protect his bottom line.

The “woke” basketball player excused the Chinese regime’s crackdown on freedom of expression and democracy in Hong Kong in an interview Monday evening, after an apparent league mandate that players, coaches, and staff, refrain from criticizing Beijing. The ordeal began when Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support of democracy in Hong Kong only to be rebuked by the league and retract his statement of support.

James said that Morey was “misinformed” the what his tweet meant, and that he was not “educated about the situation” in China.

“We do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negatives that come with that too,” James said.

China is known for its massive human rights abuses, including holding one million Muslim Uyghurs in concentration camps solely based on their religion, as well as employing child labor – many who sew those flashy shoes James and his fellow league members wear on the court – for pennies an hour.

The internet wasn’t buying James’ comparison between the supposed ramifications of free speech and the human rights abuses in China.

“LeBron attacking Rockets GM Daryl Morey for supporting democracy in China. This is absolutely shameful,” sports reporter Clay Travis said.

“It might be one of the few things most Americans can agree on these days, but LeBron siding with China on Hong Kong (and against Daryl Morey) is a bad look,” Sports Illustrated reporter Grant Wahl said.

Hundreds of people dug up the following tweet from James, which he squeezed out on Martin Luther King Jr. day in 2018, noting that MLK Jr.’s quote only applied as long as it didn’t interfere with James’ financial bottom line.

“’I’m President Xi, and I approved this message:’ LeBron’s warning to anyone who steps out of of bounds,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham tweeted in response to James’ comments.

James and Ingraham had a notorious spat when she instructed him to “shut up and dribble” in response to his social justice activism, advice that he perhaps wishes he would’ve taken.

“LeBron is so brave when he talks about President Trump. He wouldn’t dare say this about Xi or China,” commentator Ian Miles Cheong said.

James capped off his day by complaining that it had been a “difficult week” for the NBA, drawing further ridicule.

“My team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it,” he said.

“Tough week, bro, I mean not quite as tough as a Chinese gulag or getting beaten or forcibly aborted by Chinese tyrants, but I’m totally feeling you dog,” Steve Deace said.

The crux of the NBA/Hong Kong/mainland China ordeal is money. As Fox Sports 1 reporter Jason Whitlock explained on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the NBA makes hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars in the Chinese market.

To protect that revenue, its spineless players have sold out their social justice “wokeness.”