On Wednesday night, a group of people decided to support the protesters in Hong Kong challenging the government of Communist China by wearing "Free Hong Kong" T-shirts and carrying aloft signs reading "Free Hong Kong" and "Google Uyghurs" at the Washington Wizards-Guangzhou Long Lions game in Capitol Arena in Washington D.C.
They didn't get far.
Jon Schweppe, the director of policy and government affairs at the American Principles Project, joined a couple of friends to launch their action, and when they arrived with their T-shirts and signs, their "Free Hong Kong" sign was confiscated - during the national anthem.
Schweppe tweeted, "Just had our "Free Hong Kong" sign confiscated at Capitol One Arena at the Wizards game against the Guangzhou Long Lions."
He added minutes later, "We are currently standing tall behind the basket with our Free Hong Kong shirts on. We were told if we do another sign we will be removed. Standing tall in our tshirts."
Schweppe continued, "So far we are allowed our 'Google Uyghurs' sign. They seemed annoyed with it."
The Uyghurs are a minority Muslim group native to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. There have been reports that the Communist Chinese government has been brutally targeting them.
- A drone video appearing to show hundreds of blindfolded men being led from a train in China has raised new concerns over the ongoing crackdown on Muslim Uyghurs in the far western region of Xinjiang. The video - which was posted online anonymously last week - shows hundreds of men, most of whom are dressed in purple and orange vests with the words "Kashgar Detention Center" printed on them, seated in rows on the ground of what appears to be a large courtyard outside a train station. Their heads are shaved and their hands bound behind their backs. All of the men are wearing black blindfolds over their eyes and they are being watched over by dozens of police officers in SWAT uniforms.
The NBA has come under fire after the league chastised the general manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, after Morey supported Hong Kong's protests against China's new extradition bill.
As The Daily Wire
reported, Morey had tweeted out a graphic that stated: "Fight For Freedom Stand With Hong Kong." That prompted Chinese officials to denounce the tweet; some Chinese companies suspended doing business with the Rockets. As Logan Murdock of NBC News noted
, "Not only is the country hosting exhibition games between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets this week, but the league has a lucrative business relationship with the Communist country. Tencent - a Chinese news company that signed a $1.5 billion streaming deal with the league in July - announced it would suspend all Rockets-related programming ..."
NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass released the following statement:
- We recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable. While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league support individuals' educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them. We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together.