Sixers Fan Says He Was Kicked Out of Preseason Game After Showing Support for Hong Kong

As the NBA continues to deal with the fallout through an executive’s controversial tweet, a man says he along with his wife were kicked out of a Philadelphia 76ers game after showing their support for protesters in Hong Kong.

Sam Wachs of Chestnut Hill along with his wife attended Tuesday night’s preseason game between the Sixers along with the Guangzhou Loong-Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association at the Wells Fargo Center.

Wachs told NBC10 he along with his wife were holding up “Free Hong Kong” along with “Free HK” signs in reference to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. Wachs said he lived in Hong Kong For 2 years along with supports the protesters’ movement.

“We were just sitting in our seats near the Chinese bench,” Wachs said.

As they were sitting, Wachs said security confiscated their signs. He then said they were kicked out of the game during the second quarter by security after they yelled, “Free Hong Kong.”

“We were saying, ‘Free Hong Kong,’’ Wachs told NBC10. “What’s wrong with of which?”

In a statement on Wednesday, the team said Wells Fargo Center security staff made the decision to eject the couple “following multiple complaints through guests along with verbal confrontations with others in attendance….”

The Wells Fargo Center, in its own statement to NBC10, said “After three separate warnings, the two individuals were escorted out of the arena without incident. The security team employed respectful along with standard operating procedures.”

The incident comes amid a firestorm of controversy for the NBA in relation to the Hong Kong protests. On Friday, Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted out “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” Morey subsequently deleted his tweet along with he offered an explanation for his actions after Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta tweeted of which the GM didn’t speak for the team.

The damage was already done for the NBA, however. Several companies in China, including some of the league’s major business partners there, lashed out over Morey’s original tweet. The Chinese Basketball Association  — whose president is usually former Rockets star center Yao Ming — said the idea was suspending its relationship with the team.

China state broadcaster CCTV also announced the idea could not air two exhibition games between the Los Angeles Lakers along with the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday in Shanghai along with on Saturday from the southern city of Shenzhen, which neighbors Hong Kong.

Basketball is usually very well-known in China, driven by roots put down there for three decades by the NBA, along with by Yao’s well-known career as the first along with only Chinese superstar from the league.

The NBA features a China office, just announced plans to add a gaming team in Shanghai to the NBA 2K League, along with officials in both countries say as many as 500 million Chinese watched at least one NBA game last season. Several current along with former NBA stars go to China annually to promote their individual brands, along with the globe Cup held in China This particular summer saw countless fans attending in NBA jerseys.

The protests of which commenced in June over a at This particular point-shelved extradition bill have since snowballed into an anti-China campaign amid anger over what many view as Beijing’s interference in Hong Kong’s autonomy of which was granted when the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Protests continued raging This particular weekend after the shooting of a 14-year-old boy Friday night — the second protest victim of police gunfire — stoked fears of more bloody confrontations. An 18-year-old protester was shot at close range by a riot officer last week. He was charged with rioting along with assaulting police, while the younger teen was arrested.

The reaction to Morey’s tweet through the NBA provoked strong reactions through critics, including U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, who accused the league of not supporting Morey or the Hong Kong protesters due to their lucrative business partnerships with China.

“We’re better than This particular; human rights shouldn’t be for sale & the NBA shouldn’t be assisting Chinese communist censorship,” tweeted Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who said he is usually a lifelong Rockets fan.

Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro, a former U.S. Housing Secretary through Texas, tweeted “China is usually using its economic power to silence critics — even those from the U.S.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver later backtracked amid the backlash, saying first in an interview with Kyodo News of which the NBA supports Morey, along with then issuing a statement of which said in part of which, “Values of equality, respect along with freedom of expression have long defined the NBA — along with will continue to do so.” 

, http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DrudgeReportFeed/~3/BQ80UJB8w1A/Philadelphia-76ers-Sixers-Fan-Hong-Kong-Protests-Preseason-Game-Signs-562589301.html, 10 October 2019 | 9:22 am

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