The demonstrations in the semi-autonomous region of China, which have lasted months and seen fierce clashes with riot police, opened an unexpected new front in the US this month when Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted in support of protesters.
His tweet caused outrage in China, reflecting Beijing’s sensitivity over criticism of its efforts to quell the pro-democracy movement.
Los Angeles Laker player James this week appeared to side against the protesters.
Asked if Morey should be punished for his tweet, James – one of the world’s richest sportsmen – said: “Yes, we do have freedom of speech.
“But at times, there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others, when you only think about yourself.”
He added: “So many people could have been harmed, not only financially but physically, emotionally, spiritually. So just be careful what we tweet and what we say and wh