NBA Fans’ “Free Hong Kong” Signs Confiscated At Wizards Game
NBA Hong Kong

Fans attending a Wizards game against the Guangzhou Loong Lions at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., had their signs confiscated by security. Why? Because one of the signs said “Google Uyghurs” while the other sign said “Free Hong Kong”.

Twitter user Jon Schweppe posted the incident on Twitter on October 9th, 2019.

You can view the 47 second clip below, where security tells the fans that he’s going to have to take their sign or they’re going to have to put it away… permanently. Security ended up taking the sign while the United States national anthem was playing. So while supposedly celebrating America’s freedom before the game got underway, they proceeded to censor the fans’ from spreading a message of freedom for Hong Kong.

They didn’t see a problem with playing the national anthem in order to celebrate America’s freedom, but then they turned around and censored fans from promoting freedom for an oppressed group of people… while the national anthem was playing.

There’s a lot of irony jam packed into those 47 seconds.

It didn’t end there, though.

After the black security guard confiscated the “Free Hong Kong” sign, the duo proceeded to whip out a “Google Uyghurs” sign. The small sign was only out for a short time before someone else came and confiscated the sign.

They attempted to reason with the man, but it was to no avail.

Some arguments broke out about the rights that fans have at arenas and stadiums, with some people claiming that since many arenas are paid for via public funds that it makes them more public than private. However, within one of the threads it was pointed out that in the case of the Capital One Arena, it was privately funded by Abe Pollin, as reported by the Washington Post from back in 1997.

This muddies the discussion about where citizens can exercise their free speech, especially when private corporations are funneled into the mix.

Nevertheless, the NBA has been cracking down on any attempts to broadcast or promote messages of freedom during basketball games. For instance, at a 76ers game a couple was ejected for shouting “Free Hong Kong!”

The NBA also had a general manager remove a tweet supporting Hong Kong’s liberation.

Companies like Blizzard have also been heavily pushing for censorship, even going so far as to suspend a Hearthstone champion for a year for shouting “Free Hong Kong!” during a post-game interview. They even fired the two commentators just for being on the same stream as the player when he yelled out the phrase.

To make matters worse, Blizzard apologized to the PRC State party and condemned those promoting the protests in Hong Kong.

This is despite the fact that police brutality against the protestors is reportedly escalating, and violence is being used to stifle the speech and break the spirits of the Hong Kong residents.

In the one clip we see the police brutally beating down on a protestor, while in a second clip we see a female university student recounting how she and others were sexually abused in a dark room by the Hong Kong Police.

This is the sort of conduct that Blizzard and the NBA are enabling and protecting, all while punishing people who are speaking up against the censorship and State corruption.

Blizzard’s antics have been broadcast so widely around the net that even some politicians have taken notice of their defense of the PRC and called them out for it.

It doesn’t look like the NBA nor Blizzard will relent from supporting China’s censorship policies, though, and it appears as if they will be spreading those policies Stateside in order to maintain a good relationship with the State party in mainland China.

(Thanks for the news tip Mugen Tenshin)

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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