By now you have probably read about the pro-China (in reality, pro-all the money made from Chinese manufactured goods) – anti-Hong Kong protester stand taken by the National Basketball Association.
You might also be aware that after Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey voiced support for the protesters in Hong Kong, all Rockets merchandising was pulled from stores in Chinese cities…until Morey publicly apologized for daring to stand with Hong Kong freedom fighters against the freedomless mainland communists.
Well, now some Toronto Raptor fans have decided to take matters into their own hands.
From Tobias Hoonhout’s article at nationalreview.com:
In the wake of the NBA-China scandal, Toronto Raptors fans are gearing up for a political statement for the team’s home opener.
A crowd-funded campaign has raised over $34,000 in five days to print thousands of t-shirts that read “The North Stand with Hong Kong” for Toronto’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans on October 22.
“We are able to make 7,000 T shirts, which is 2,000 more than our original target! We will cover 35% instead of 25% of the audience! That’s 1/3 of the arena!”
There’s what they’ve done. Now: what will happen?
Will fans wear the shirts during next Tuesday’s game?
Well they even be able to? That is, will Canada – which, in recent years, lamentably, has become more and more restrictive on free speech, prohibit fans from doing so?
If the shirts are worn by a good many fans, will this pro-Hong Kong insurrection spread to other NBA arenas (my bet is that it will)?
And what will happen to the China/NBA relationship if this takes place? How will it affect the sale of NBA goods to China and other countries? How will it affect the manufacture of these goods in China for companies like, for example, Nike?
I assume that enormous pressure is being brought to bear on Canada to nip this in the bud by preventing fans from wearing the shirts. Especially because the game is being played one day after Canada’s October 21 general elections – which may result in the unseating of current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
If such pressure truly is being exerted:
-Will Trudeau’s Canada cave, and tell fans they can’t wear them? What happens to his re-election prospects if he does?
-If Trudeau caves, will some fans – maybe a lot of fans – come into the stadium hiding the shirts, then putting them on once they are seated?
-If they do, will Toronto law enforcement start removing and arresting the people wearing those shirts, for all the world to see? Will the government risk being accused of siding with communism over freedom?
This is getting very interesting very fast.
I will, of course, blog more on the situation as it develops.