SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- As protests continue in Hong Kong, one of the few things those there and those in mainland China can agree on is their love of the National Basketball Association.
But even that has become contentious recently after an NBA owner and then an NBA star chimed on the political landscape in that part of the world.
The story goes back to the beginning of October when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support for those fighting communist rule in Hong Kong.
The Chinese government did not like the tweet, which is where LeBron James came in.
“You have to think through things that you say that may cause harm, not only for yourself but for the majority of people. And I think that’s just a prime example of that,” James said.
James would go on to say Morey was misinformed. His words upset those in Hong Kong and elsewhere who believed James was siding with the Chinese government in Beijing by putting business ahead of democracy.
Tuesday night, while the Sacramento Kings played their final exhibition game against a team from Australia, fans weighed in.
Those FOX40 talked to said athletes and celebrities are often put under an intense microscope when it comes to balancing political beliefs and their businesses.
“I feel like they get caught up on every word that they say. But, honestly, celebrities have to do what they have to do as well,” said Kings fan Naomi Milton.
“I mean, it really depends on how much they know about the subject that they are talking about. But it really depends on the person, if they want to speak about it,” said fan Therie Montero.
“He’s a good dude,” said fan Caleb Vink. “There’s a reason why he’s done so well for himself and he shouldn’t really have been shamed for what he said.”
Morey did later tweet he did not intend to upset those in China, adding he has been able to learn other perspectives on the issue.
FOX40 did ask Kings coach Luke Walton about the controversy but he said he did not have any thoughts on the matter.