Several fans standing with a sign reading “Free Hong Kong” and “Google: Uyghurs” had them confiscated prior to a game between the Washington Wizards and the Guangzhou Loong Lions at the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC, Wednesday night.
The incidents were posted on Twitter and detail two separate interactions with arena officials who can be heard telling the group of fans “no political signs.”
Scott Hall, a spokesman for the Wizards, confirmed the incident, telling CNN: “The building security staff removed signs tonight in accordance with Capital One Arena’s long-standing Signs, Banners, Posters, and Flag Policy.” Hall said no fans were asked to leave the game.
This is the second incident of security engaging with fans at NBA games over pro-Hong Kong signs this week. On Tuesday, two fans were ejected from a 76ers game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia for after holding signs and chanting in solidarity with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
Hall said the signs at Wednesday’s game specifically violated the following elements of the stadium policy:
“Item may not be constructed or displayed in a manner that may obstruct the view of other guests, interrupt the experience of other guests, or create a safety hazard.”
“Item may not be commercial or political in nature.”
Jodi Fick, spokeswoman for the arena, had no additional comment.