Fans at Nets-Raptors Game Protest Chinese Policy in Hong Kong

Political shirts, protest signs, and Winnie the Pooh costumes all on view

Barclays Center
A basketball game at Barclays Center was home to a protest against the Chinese government.
Tdorante10/Creative Commons

The controversy surrounding the NBA’s relationship with China, sparked by Houston GM Daryl Morey’s support for pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong and the Chinese government’s response, doesn’t show any signs of disappearing. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver defended free speech last week, and LeBron James added his thought on the matter earlier this week

The latest installment emerged at a Nets-Raptors game at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The BBC is reporting that fans attending the game held up signs and wore shirts protesting the Chinese government’s policies in Hong Kong and elsewhere. Several fans also wore Winnie the Pooh costumes as a means of satirizing China’s President, Xi Jinping. (Yes, that’s a thing — and apparently an effective one, considering that the character is now banned in China.) 

The choice of a Nets home game may not be coincidental, as Nets owner Joe Tsai was particularly critical of Morey’s initial post on Twitter

According to the BBC and Complex, the protest was the work of film producer Andrew Duncan, who purchased 300 tickets to the game. It’s one more step in a contentious debate that shows no signs of abating.

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