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Muhammad Ali’s Ex-wife Addresses LeBron James’ China Backlash

*LeBron James is catching heat for not “bowing to China,” and now Muhammad Ali’s ex-wife is weighing in about the NBA star’s lack of support for the people of Hong Kong.

Khalilah Ali was married to the late boxing champ during his Vietnam War protest — from 1967 to 1976 — and when TMZ Sports caught up with her, she shared her thoughts on James’ current controversy. Khalilah says she’ll always support people “who are standing up for their rights,” and it sounds like she wants James to get on board too.

We previously reported, on Monday, James spoke out about the Daryl Morey tweet that sparked an international incident. He says the Rockets GM simply “wasn’t educated” about China before he posted his pro-Hong Kong tweet.

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So many people could have been harmed, not only physically or financially, but emotionally and spiritually,” James told reporters Monday. “Just be careful what we tweet, what we say and what we do. We do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative things that come with that too.”

When Khalilah heard his comments, she said Muhammad would have handled the situation MUCH differently.

Listen to the audio via the player above, Khalilah believes influencers like LeBron and Muhammad should stand up for people fighting for their rights.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong democracy protesters are FURIOUS at James for speaking out against Morey … and they’re burning his jersey in the streets.

“They would not take Muhammad Ali’s shorts and burn them anywhere, it would never happen,” Khalilah said.

“I love LeBron James. I think he’s the greatest. But, when it comes to people and society and companies, we have to put that aside,” she added. “Respect it, but you have to stay the course when it comes to human respect and human fight, human liberty.”

UPDATE! 

Michael Rapaport just went in on LeBron on “TMZ Live” — saying he’s the “fakest” guy in the NBA. He also blasts Bron’s personal/business team, including Maverick Carter, saying they’re all “yes men” and “flunkies.”

Watch:

 

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