situation doesn’t appear to be fading away just yet with a pro Hong Kong t-shirt making an appearance on the national broadcast of the league’s opener.he NBA’s China
During a timeout in the game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers, the dance cam searched around the crowd for people getting down. Once on camera for holding up a Clippers shirt, one kid swiftly replaced that article of clothing with another reading “Fight for Freedom, Stand up for Hong Kong” as the camera quickly panned away.
During the Dance Cam in a game of Lakers vs Clippers on the NBA opening day, a boy tricked the photographer to move the camera right away by turning his Clippers jersey into a T-shirt with "FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, STAND WITH HONG KONG" to show his support !!🇭🇰#StandWithHongKong #NBA pic.twitter.com/FKsd4DoeWw
— Anty 😷 (@AntyHxH) October 23, 2019
Activists reportedly handed out thousands of the t-shirts outside the stadium before the game. The statement is the same one tweeted out by Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey earlier this week which ignited a political shitstorm in China causing the league’s Chinese sponsors to suspend ties and Chinese broadcasters to cancel showing NBA preseason games played in China.
Demonstrators hand out t-shirts at NBA opening game between Lakers and Clippers to draw attention to pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong against China. This comes after controversial Lakers games in China. pic.twitter.com/yVZklcawUm
— Jeff Nguyen (@jeffnguyen) October 23, 2019
NBA’s China and Hong Kong mess isn’t going away. Tons of people in these Free Hong Kong shirts are going to be inside Staples Center tonight. pic.twitter.com/CnLosvcgvy
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 23, 2019
Meanwhile, in the Inside the NBA pregame show, a Hong Kong flag could clearly be seen flying in the background. No efforts were evidently made to remove the fan holding the flag.
Hong Kong flag in prime position behind TNT’s halftime show pic.twitter.com/MQjWJoCPr5
— Henry Bushnell (@HenryBushnell) October 23, 2019
The NBA’s two opening games were not aired by China’s official state broadcaster CCTV. The league’s digital streaming partner, Tencent, only showed the Lakers-Clippers game and not the preceding game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Toronto Raptors.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said that the league has suffered “substantial” financial consequences because of the Daryl Morey saga. It’s estimated that the NBA gets around 15 percent of its revenue from China.
Silver also said that the Chinese government had asked him to fire Morey. A statement that China has denied and that resulted in a CCTV commentary warning that Silver would face “retribution.”