A group of fans held signs, wore shirts and chanted support for Hong Kong and Tibet in the Brooklyn Nets' first game since their return from China.
Fans sat behind a board near the Nets bench at Barclays Center in their 123-107 loss to Toronto on Friday night.
The Net is back this week after playing exhibition games against the Los Angeles Lakers in Shanghai and Shenzhen. The games were not televised in China after relations between the NBA and Chinese officials strained after a tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in support of protesting Democrat protesters in Hong Kong. Cai, co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, who were critical of Morey's tweet. Cai wrote a Facebook post explaining why the deleted tweet upset the Chinese.
Hong Kong Breed Demonstrators XI JINPING, LEBRON JAMES
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Network watchdog Kiri Irving said he understood why protesters were coming to the game.
"I think when you think about communities around the world, I think many people would advocate for world peace," he said.
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"The government is getting involved and influencing different communities in different ways. The reality is that as people, it is our job to uphold what we believe in. I understand that Hong Kong and China are deal with their problems accordingly, but there is enough oppression and other things in America that I do not get involved in community issues here. "