- Title: NBA banners removed, news conferences postponed in Shanghai amid China backlash
- Date: 9th October 2019
- Summary: ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF WORKER TEARING DOWN BANNER FROM BUILDING SIDE ADVERTISEMENT FOR BROOKLYN NETS VS. LOS ANGELES LAKERS ON BANNER MEDIA GATHERED IN HOTEL LOBBY (SOUNDBITE) (English) NBA OFFICIAL, NAME UNKNOWN, SAYING: "Given the situation, today's media availability has been postponed. Thank you." REPORTER: "WHY?" "We're going upstairs." HOTEL STAFF PUSHING CART IN FRONT OF CHINESE FLAG AT HOTEL ENTRANCE STARS ON CHINESE FLAG 18-YEAR-OLD NBA FAN, LI XINTONG, STANDING AGAINST BARRIER KYRIE IRVING BOSTON CELTICS 11 JERSEY (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 18-YEAR-OLD NBA FAN, LI XINTONG, SAYING: "If the prelim match is cancelled, I don't really care about it. Because I think this thing has already violated our own country's bottom line about a few issues. Just like talking about problems of racism in the U.S., or homosexuality, or feminism, it's really crossed the line. So, if the NBA really wants to expand in China's market, then they must understand Chinese culture. They must understand our country's bottom line." 20-YEAR-OLD NBA FAN, BAI LINFAN, LOOKING AT PHONE/ FANS STANDING LEBRON JAMES LAKERS 23 JERSEY (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 20-YEAR-OLD NBA FAN, BAI LINFAN, SAYING: "They (the NBA) have done something really stupid. China deals with it by targeting their partners, like Tencent, they've all had to stop their cooperation with the NBA. I think this is the right thing to do. Because this something that is really about our nationality. That's the biggest thing. Cancelling those cooperation and exchanges is quite normal. But for us basketball fans, I think from now on it might be a bit difficult to watch NBA matches. Given the way (the Chinese authorities) have dealt it, well, I might like to watch NBA, but in the end, I'm a Chinese." VARIOUS TIMELAPSES OF SHANGHAI NBA BANNER BEING REMOVED FROM BUILDING (MUTE)
- Embargoed: 23rd October 2019 10:12
- Keywords: China NBA tweet Basketball Lakers banners Houston Rockets U.S. halt cooperation
- Location: SHANGHAI, CHINA
- City: SHANGHAI, CHINA
- Country: China
- Topics: Basketball,Sport,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA003B0DIYIV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Banners advertising an upcoming NBA match in Shanghai were removed and a news conference by the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn nets was delayed indefinitely on Wednesday (October 9) as official Chinese backlash against a controversial tweet from the Houston Rockets general manager voicing support for the Hong Kong protests continued.
Local organisers cancelled fan events that were scheduled for earlier in the day. Fans awaiting the Lakers and Nets' arrival at the venue said that they supported the actions taken by Chinese authorities to halt local partnerships and cooperation with the NBA.
"For us basketball fans, I think from now on it might be a bit difficult to watch NBA matches. Given the way (the Chinese authorities) have dealt it, well, I might like to watch NBA, but in the end, I'm a Chinese," said NBA fan Bai Linfan.
Broadcasts and live streams of the game on Thursday (October 10) have been suspended and Chinese sponsors and partners have been cutting ties with the NBA after the controversial tweet. NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke up for freedom of speech saying it was not up to the NBA to regulate what players, employees and team owners said, nor to adjudicate differences between people around the world, escalating the furor.
(Production: Xihao Jiang, Joseph Campbell)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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