NBA China Woes Refuse To Die, As Tibet Protesters Demonstrate At Brooklyn Nets Game

Blair Fitzgibbon

Tibetan rights activists protested tonight alongside Hong Kong democracy activists at the Brooklyn Nets vs Toronto Raptors game at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. The protesters said their aim was to draw attention to the issue of China’s occupation of Tibet and to send a message to the NBA, along with Nets’ owner, Joseph Tsai (a Hong Kong resident), and LA Lakers’ player LeBron James.

Both Tsai and James have attempted to manipulate Houston Rockets general manager Dary Morey’s tweet supporting Hong Kong protesters.

The activists held signs and chanted slogans expressing opposition to Beijing’s attempt to silence voices of support for Hong Kong, Tibetans and Uyghurs, who are facing severe repression under Chinese occupation.

Sitting in Section 1 across from the Nets bench, nine fans wore white shirts with black lettering saying “Free Tibet.” An estimated 100 China protesters filled about eight rows of seats and wore black shirts that read “Stand With Hong Kong.”

The protesters were peaceful and none were ejected.

In a statement issued to media, Tenzin Dorjee, senior researcher and strategist at Tibet Action Institute, said .”It is crucial that people of conscience around the world speak up for Hong Kongers who are battling for their freedom right now, and also for the people of Tibet, East Turkestan (Xinjiang) and China itself, where Chinese authorities are carrying out an unprecedented human rights crackdown. Daryl Morey was right to speak out, and while we applaud the NBA for ultimately supporting his right to free speech, we are deeply disturbed that LeBron James and Joseph Tsai have chosen to prioritize profits over people’s rights.”

The statement said activists plan to continue protests at NBA games across the US and Canada.


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