A pair of fans holding “Free Hong Kong” signs were booted from a Philadelphia 76ers game against Chinese squad Guangzhou Loong Lions Tuesday night, according to new reports.
Sam Wachs and his wife had attended the preseason game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia when their neon green signs were confiscated by security, NBC Philadelphia reported.
The couple was then escorted out after yelling “Free Hong Kong” during the second quarter.
“We were saying, ‘Free Hong Kong,’” Wachs told NBC. “What’s wrong with that?”
Wachs said he lived in Hong Kong for two years and supported the pro-democracy activists who’ve been protesting for months there.
He tweeted about the ordeal — which comes amid rising tensions between the US and China in the wake of Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s pro-Hong Kong tweet.
“Here are the controversial signs. I know, earth-shattering right?” he wrote. “Obvious why the NBA would have a problem with this.”
He later tweeted with a video showing him and his wife being escorted out of the arena, “Hey @NBA @sixers – you are letting greed get the better of you. It matters who you do business with. Stand up to China.”