NEW YORK (AP) – A group of fans showed posters and t-shirts and chanted chants in favor of Hong Kong and Tibet on Friday in the first game of the Brooklyn Nets on their return from China.
Fans stood behind one of the baskets, near the bank of the Nets, at the Barclays Center in their 123-107 loss to the Toronto Raptures.
The Nets returned this week after playing exhibition games against the Los Angeles Lakers in Shanghai and Shenzhen. The meetings were not televised in China because of tension in relations between the NBA and Chinese officials after a tweet from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in support of prodemocracy protesters in Hong Kong.RELATED
One of Friday's posters was addressed to LeBron James and Joe Tsai, owner of the Nets and co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, who criticized Morey's tweet. Tsai wrote a post on Facebook explaining the reasons why the message, which was later deleted, bothered the Chinese.
Kyrie Irving, base of the Nets, said he understood the reason why protesters came to the party.
"I think that when you think of communities around the world, many people would defend world peace," he said. 'The government gets involved and affects different communities in different ways. The reality is that, as individuals, our job is to defend what we believe in. I understand that Hong Kong and China are dealing with their respective problems, but for me there is enough oppression and open affairs in the United States to get involved in the community's problems here too. ”