Two Fans Were Kicked Out of the Sixers Game for Displaying “Free Hong Kong” Signs

via Twitter (Sam Wachs)
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Last night’s Sixers/Guangzhou exhibition game was played under the shadow of rising tensions between the NBA and Chinese government, a rift originating from a Daryl Morey tweet expressing support for the democratic movement in Hong Kong. 

The ensuing fallout is affecting business deals in China, where NBA and G League exhibition games have since been canceled. And last night’s matchup at the Wells Fargo Center seemed rather straightforward and innocuous, before this happened:

Here are a couple of tweets from one of the fans in question:

I didn’t see these two last night, but they were apparently behind the visiting bench, right around section 123 and 124.

Here’s some video footage via 6 ABC’s Christie Ileto, which shows the pair being escorted from the arena:

Hard to see much there. Looks like two Wells Fargo ushers and then a suited security guy. The fans are about five rows behind the Guangzhou bench, if their players or coaches turned around, they could easily see those signs. You could also hear anything said (yelled) from that distance, because the arena was half full last night and rather quiet.

Here’s part of the write-up from the Action News website:

Sam Wachs and his wife had their signs confiscated.

“There’s no foul language, no politics. I asked why not. They said, ‘Don’t give me a hard time,” Wachs said in an interview with Action News.

Wachs admitted he then stood up and started yelling “Free Hong Kong” before being escorted out.

“I think it’s shameful, harsh reaction,” Wachs added.

NBC 10 wrote this on their site:

Wachs told NBC10 he and his wife were holding up “Free Hong Kong” and “Free HK” signs in reference to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. Wachs said he lived in Hong Kong for two years and supports the protesters’ movement.

“We were just sitting in our seats near the Chinese bench,” Wachs said.

As they were sitting, Wachs said security confiscated their signs. He then said they were kicked out of the game during the second quarter by security after they yelled, “Free Hong Kong.”

“We were saying, ‘Free Hong Kong,’’ Wachs told NBC10. “What’s wrong with that?”

Nothing yet from the Sixers in terms of a statement, but we’ll share that when/if they send it over. I think the interesting question is who made the call to eject these fans. It’s worth noting that the Sixers are tenants in the building and do not handle arena security.

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  • t October 9, 2019 at 8:09 am

    sixers should sign Andrew Nicholson

  • Hardcore 2 1/2 for 4 October 9, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Why are Asians always wearing surgical masks, as if they’re walking around during the outbreak of a pandemic? I don’t know whether to laugh or smack them.

    • Just the facts October 9, 2019 at 9:01 am

      At least you’re safe around Asians….. prisons aren’t full of them.

      • Bob Geldof October 9, 2019 at 9:30 am

        You’ve never been to China

    • Deputy Van Halen October 9, 2019 at 9:55 am

      In this case, it’s because prt of the protest were due to the ChiComs banned masks in public, so they could identify protestors.

    • Info October 9, 2019 at 1:30 pm

      The mask is worn when they are sick. They don’t want to make others sick.

      Grow up.

  • Snake October 9, 2019 at 8:49 am

    Drives me nuts when I see the China people walking around in surgical masks .

  • Mayor Kenney Sucks October 9, 2019 at 8:59 am

    If they had signs that read “IMPEACH TRUMP”, the NBA would have no problem with that sign. Unbelievable hypocrisy.

    • Gordon Dillard October 9, 2019 at 9:31 am

      Incorrect, they would get rid of any political signs, that’s kind of the point here. They were actually being consistent. For once.

    • Stop whining October 9, 2019 at 1:29 pm


  • Annoyed October 9, 2019 at 9:01 am

    If the signs said Free Meek, they would have been moved down to courtside seats.

    • Rooster October 9, 2019 at 9:12 am

      Good point…. don’t worry within 5 years Meek Mill will be either dead or back in jail.

  • Guy on the Pizza Box October 9, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Can’t wait until 2, when Mikey Miss will tell us how we should feel about this.

    • Dwayne from swedesboro October 9, 2019 at 11:08 am

      Why torture yourself listening to that phony bastard?

  • Hong Kong fooey October 9, 2019 at 10:41 am

    If they had a sign saying “Kill the protesters” nothing would have been done to them.

  • This is same team that lets some morbidly obese man shake his belly October 9, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    on the Jumbotron.

  • Michelle Brooke-Marconiak October 10, 2019 at 11:57 am

    Cotton DEFINITELY can’t do that.

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