Philadelphia 76ers fan supporting Hong Kong ejected from preseason game against Chinese squad

CNBC Sports 2 months ago

A fan was reportedly ejected from a Philadelphia 76ers preseason game on Tuesday after holding signs and shouting support for Hong Kong during a game against the Guangzhou Loong Lions, a squad from China.

Sam Wachs and his wife were holding signs that said "Free Hong Kong" during the 76ers game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, according to a report by an ABC News affiliate in Philadelphia.

The signs were allegedly confiscated by security at the stadium and Wachs and his wife were kicked out.

"Got kicked out of the Philadelphia 76ers game against Guangzhou tonight for bringing these / chanting my support of Hong Kong," Wachs posted on Facebook Tuesday night. "The NBA is pretty cowardly when it comes to pressure from the Chinese government."

Representatives for the Philadelphia 76ers and Wells Fargo Center did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. Wachs also did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. 

The National Basketball Association wasn't aware of the incident, but is talking with the team to find out what happened, a spokesman said. 

The NBA is facing intense criticism in mainland China since Houston Rockets' general manger Daryl Morey tweeted in support of the anti-government protests in a now-deleted tweet that said, "Fight for Freedom. Stand for Hong Kong."

The tweet was quickly deleted and Morey apologized, but his comments drew backlash in China.

The NBA released a statement about Morey on Sunday that was translated into Chinese for the league's verified account on Chinese social media platform Weibo. A CNBC translation of the post found differences between the English and Chinese version, which sparked criticism in the U.S. for its decidedly more apologetic tone. 

The league's commissioner Adam Silver apologized for offending the league's Chinese fans, but he stood by Morey's right to express his opinions, saying the league would "protect its employees' freedom of speech."

By Wednesday, nearly all of the NBA's Chinese partners had publicly announced that they were ending or suspending their relationships with the league.

Not to mention, Earlier this week, Chinese tech giant Tencent, Luckin Coffee and Vivo announced the suspension of their relationships with the NBA.


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Fox News › Sports › 2 months ago
A Philadelphia 76ers fan said Wells Fargo Center security ejected him and his wife from the stands Tuesday after they brought in pro-Hong Kong signage for a preseason game against Guangzhou Loong Lions.
USA Today › Sports › 2 months ago
A 76ers fan said he and his wife were kicked out of the team's preseason game for bringing pro-Hong Kong signage and chanting "Free Hong Kong!"
CNN › 1 month ago
A fan of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers was removed from a preseason game against a Chinese team after he held signs and chanted in solidarity with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
Newsweek › Sports › 1 month ago
The man and his wife held up signs which read "Free Hong Kong" and "Free HK" during the first quarter. After the signs were taken away, he stood up to yell "free Hong Kong," during the second quarter and was ejected shortly afterward.
Business Insider › Sports › 1 month ago
The NBA is still managing the fallout of Daryl Morey's tweet in support of the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. On Tuesday, the controversy made its way into the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, where two 76ers fans were escorted out of the arena...
The Week › 2 months ago
Daryl Morey feels your pain, Sam Wachs. Wachs said he and his wife were kicked out of a preseason NBA game in Philadelphia between the hometown 76ers and the Guangzhou Loong-Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association on Tuesday night because they were...
New York Post › Sports › 2 months ago
A pair of fans holding “Free Hong Kong” signs were booted from a Philadelphia 76ers game against Chinese squad Guangzhou Loong Lions Tuesday night, according to new reports. Sam Wachs and his wife had attended the preseason game at the Wells Fargo...
Breitbart › Sports › 1 month ago
A couple attending a 76ers game against the Chinese team Guangzhou Loong Lions were ejected after holding signs and shouting support for Hong Kong.
Washington Examiner › Sports › 1 month ago
Two fans were kicked out of a Philadelphia 76ers game in Philadelphia after they brought signs that said "Free Hong Kong" and "Free HK."
New York Daily News › Sports › 1 month ago
The Sixers ejected a fan from an exhibition in Philly for his 'Free Hong Kong' sign.
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