Fan raises $43,000 to distribute ‘Stand With Hong Kong’ shirts at Lakers season opener
A Los Angeles Lakers fan has raised $43,000 to create and distribute ‘Stand With Hong Kong’ shirts at the team’s regular-season opener.
Sun Lared started a GoFundMe account with a goal of raising $20,000 to support anti-government protesters in Hong Kong via the shirts. As of writing, Lared collected more than double his goal and the page has since disabled its donations.
In the page, the fan detailed his intention:
“China is trying to censor the Houston Rockets (update: and now the entire NBA) because of Hong Kong. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if on opening night in Staples Center the NBA fanbase made a collective demonstration against censorship by wearing “STAND WITH Hong Kong” T-Shirts?”
To recall, the relationship between the NBA and China was tarnished after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey sent out a since-deleted tweet in support of Hong Kong. The tweet featured an image that read “Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong.”
The tweet spread like wildfire. Several Chinese businesses — who are under partnerships with the league — pulled out. And just when the issue was in the process of cooling down, Lakers superstar LeBron James hit on Morey and tagged him as someone “misinformed and not educated on the situation.”
James was criticized not just by Hong Kong fans, but by NBA followers all over the globe. Different media personalities also hit back at James for his rather insensitive comments.
LeBron has since announced he will no longer talk about the issue. Hopefully, it won’t be a distraction for him as the Lakers enter a critical 2019-20 campaign.