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

Drew Wonder

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76ers Fan Says He Was Kicked Out After Supporting Hong Kong

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

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

Wachs told NBC10 he and his wife were holding up “Free Hong Kong” and “Free HK” signs in reference to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. Wachs said he used to live in Hong Kong and 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 that?”

NBC10 reached out to the 76ers for comment. We have not yet heard back from them.

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 and he offered an explanation for his actions after Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta tweeted that 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 former Rockets star center Yao Ming — said it was suspending its relationship with the team.

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

Basketball is very popular in China, driven by roots put down there for three decades by the NBA, and by Yao's popular career as the first and only Chinese superstar in the league.

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

The protests that started in June over a now-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 that was granted when the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Protests continued raging this 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 and assaulting police, while the younger teen was arrested.

The reaction to Morey's tweet from the NBA provoked strong reactions from 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; 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 a lifelong Rockets fan.

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

Omar Little

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I’m out the loop, what’s all this shyt and the deal with Hong Kong right now? Rep for whoever answers this
 

Inertia Creeps

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@G.O.A.T Squad Spokesman made a comment about his homeland China the other day, and the Mods gave him a warning.:picard:

Is China the boogeyman right now? whats goin on

You ain't looked at the label on any of your clothes or electronics over the past 20 years? China owns almost everything on this planet and is currently doing everything in it's totalitarian power to devour the few things left on earth it doesn't have complete dominion over yet. They got lobbyists, insiders, spies, hackers, and astroturfers to cover every inch of every major social sphere on the face of the earth that they don't outright own already; since their dystopian spy system and militarized police force can't operate outside of it's own borders they gotta wave their financial clout to silence and control the narratives about their mishaps and private pursuits (conquering Hong Kong and its protesters) over here on places like twitter and thecoli. :mjpls:

Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras

Once they contract this shyt out and concentrate their power over here, next time stuff like this happens instead of forum warnings and cancelling NBA games they'll just :bustback::bustback::bustback:you personally inside your own home 1984/Person of Interest style...:merchant::damn:
 

Maude

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I’m out the loop, what’s all this shyt and the deal with Hong Kong right now? Rep for whoever answers this
hong kong was occupied by britan and now its a democracy.
britan gave it back to china in a agreement that it stay a democracy for 100 years I think.
after this time it will be in full control of china again
hong kong protesting cause china aint really tryna honoring the agreement & doing slick shyt.


I'm doin this from memory so dont kill me for the inaccuracies :hubie:
 

ryderldb

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hong kong was occupied by britan and now its a democracy.
britan gave it back to china in a agreement that it stay a democracy for 100 years I think.
after this time it will be in full control of china again
hong kong protesting cause china aint really tryna honoring the agreement & doing slick shyt.


I'm doin this from memory so dont kill me for the inaccuracies :hubie:
That’s the gist of it. What really sparked the protests was HK leadership (basically China’s puppets) pushing to pass an extradition bill which basically gave free reign for China to charge a HK citizen with something and they’d be arrested and sent to China for prosecution.
 
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