LeBron James made a shocking statement late Monday night, attacking the Houston Rocket’s Daryl Morey for his tweet supporting the Hong Kong protesters against Chinese government oppression.

Morey’s tweet, “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong” kicked off the controversy with China, with the Communist government reacting back against the NBA and revealing how deeply the Chinese control of speech has influenced American companies and entities like the NBA.

“We talk about freedom of speech, yes, we all do have freedom of speech, but, at times, there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others, you’re only thinking about yourself,” James said.

“So I don’t believe, I don’t want to get into a word, or sentence, feud with Daryl, with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke. So many people could have been harmed, not only financial, but physically, emotionally, spiritually. So just be careful what we tweet, what we say, and what we do,” he declared.

“Even though yes, we do have freedom of speech, there can be a lot of negatives,” James declared.

He criticized Morey for allegedly being “uneducated” on the subject, after saying he, James, wasn’t sufficiently educated enough on the “political side” to make a comment on the substance of the question.

“When you’re misinformed or you’re not educated about something – and I’m just talking about the tweet itself – you never know the ramifications that can happen. We all see what that did, not only did for our league but for all of us in America, for people in China as well. Sometimes you have to think through the things that you say that may cause harm not only for yourself but for the majority of people. I think that’s just a prime example of that.”

Did James think through the consequences of what he just said?

One would think not. Because what a horrible response to someone supporting human rights, how against American free speech James’ remarks are, seemingly in order to appease China. James’ response exposes just how deep the problem is. And he seems to repeat the NBA’s “talking points” on the subject, that he doesn’t know enough to talk about the substance.

James then tried to “clarify” on Twitter, only making it worse.

Sorry that people defending the protesters of Hong Kong who have been beaten, locked up, blinded, shot in the chest and had their rights taken away didn’t think about your hard week, LeBron. How inconsiderate of them.

James’ words infuriated Americans.

From Fox News:

“Having just been in Hong Kong – on the streets & with the protestors – this kind of garbage is hard to take,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Ms., tweeted. “LeBron, are YOU educated on ‘the situation’? Why don’t you go to Hong Kong? Why don’t you meet the people there risking their lives for their most basic liberties.”

Hawley added: “This statement is unbelievable. ‘So many people could have been harmed’? By Daryl Morey daring to express sympathy for democracy? News flash: people ARE being harmed – shot, beaten, gassed – right now in Hong Kong. By China. By the Communist Party the NBA is so eager to appease.”

Dan Wolken, a writer for USA Today, wrote a column calling the episode the most “disgraceful moment” of James’ career.

“If only Morey had done what you did Monday, LeBron, and tacitly admit that the only thing that really matters is your ability to sell shoes and market ‘Space Jam 2’ in a country of 1.4 billion, we could have had an intellectually honest discussion about doing business in China and the cost of free speech in a country where only propaganda is tolerated,” he wrote.

Perhaps one of the most striking responses to James was from Turkish-born Boston Celtics player, Enes Kanter, who, while not specifically mentioning James in his tweet, listed the things he, Kanter, had gone through for speaking out against the repressive government of Turkey’s Recep Erdogan.