Sport Ad company blocked billboard criticizing LeBron James' stance on China

19:10  04 october  2020
19:10  04 october  2020 Source:   yardbarker.com

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A government watchdog group recently sought to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for a series of billboard criticizing LeBron James for his stance on China, but the idea was nixed by an advertising company.

LeBron James holding a basketball © Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia-based conservative group National Legal and Policy Center designed a billboard that shows LeBron with a Chinese flag covering his mouth and the message, “Silence is Violence.” The billboard also pointed people to a website called Freedom4China.com. According to an email reviewed by Isabel Vincent of the New York Post, Outfront Media blocked the ad out of fear of upsetting James.

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“We cannot accept the ad as it is right now,” a representative for Outfront wrote in the email. “The Chinese flag is Ok, and the silence is violence is ok.”

You can see the design of the billboard below:

The rep said the billboards would be cleared if LeBron’s image were removed, but NLPC chairman Peter Flaherty said that is not an option.

Video: Chris Broussard on AD's comments: 'LeBron’s not done yet’ | FIRST THINGS FIRST (FOXSports)

“Some messages are too important to be suppressed,” Flaherty said. “When it comes to human rights in China, silence is indeed violence. We should be able to call LeBron on his hypocrisy without this censorship.”

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The NLPC came up with different versions of the ad but they were all rejected by Outfront, which eventually stopped responding to the inquiries.

LeBron has been extremely outspoken on the topic of social injustice in the United States, but his stance on China has drawn criticism. When Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey showed support last year for Hong Kong protestors who were fighting against the communist Chinese regime, LeBron said he felt Morey was not educated on the situation. James later tried to clarify his remarks and was called out by some within the NBA community.

The NBA as a whole has been accused of ignoring civil rights issues in China to protect its own financial interests. The same can be said of LeBron, who has a lifetime endorsement deal with Nike and its Chinese-manufactured products.

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