Sixers Eject Fans for 'Free Hong Kong' Sign


A pair of spectators at the 76ers matchup with the Guangzhou Loong Lions were ejected on Tuesday after holding signs that read "Free Hong Kong," according to ABC 6 Philadelphia

Sam Wachs and his wife reportedly had their signs confiscated at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. They then began to voice their support for protestors in Hong Kong and were ejected out of the arena. 

"There's no foul language, no politics," Wachs told ABC 6. "I think it's shameful, harsh reaction."

Wachs and his wife were not arrested after being escorted out of the arena, according to ABC 6's Christie Ileto. Their signs were not returned.

Philadelphia responded to the incident with a statement on Wednesday. 

"At last evening's game, following multiple complaints from guests and verbal confrontations with others in attendance, two individuals were warned by Wells Fargo Center staff about their continuing disruption of the fan experience," the 76ers wrote. "Ultimately, the decision was made by the Wells Fargo Center personnel to remove the guests from the premises, which was accomplished without incident."

The NBA's relationship with China has fractured over the last week after Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted his support of protestors in Hong Kong. A pair of NBA Cares events in China were canceled on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Lakers' preseason contests against the Nets in Shanghai are in jeopardy of being canceled. 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the rift between the league and China on Monday.

"I think as a values-based organization that I want to make it clear ... that Daryl Morey is supported in terms of his ability to exercise his freedom of expression." 

Chinese state television CCTV has suspended its broadcasts of NBA preseason games. The network added it will, "immediately investigate all co-operation and exchanges involving the NBA.”