Silence would be preferable to what NBA stars are actually saying

There is nothing “misinformed” about supporting the Hong Kong protestors, and deploring the Chinese Communist Party. China is still a country of forced abortions. It’s a country of open, systematic, state-led ethnic and religious persecution. It’s a country of social censorship. It’s a country of Kafkaesque social policy: millions of Chinese people who were born illegally as second or third children have no right to education or work, and some do not even have their births registered.

I think Americans actually would show some understanding and patience with NBA players and personalities that remained discreetly silent. The league’s lucrative involvement in China dates to a time when hopes for China’s liberalization seemed more realistic. And the league’s players may be correct in calculating that any protests against Chinese human-rights abuses from them would not have any salutary effect on China, and could possibly have an adverse one, making Hong Kongers look like subjects of American intrigue rather than genuine interest.

But LeBron’s political self-regard, his financial interests, and his silence simply paint a damning picture.