NBA Allows 'Defund Police' On Jerseys But Not 'Free Hong Kong'

Fuck Hong Kong. 

Abolish Cops. 

Trump has AIDS.

Apparently, the NBA will let you print any of these statements on an official jersey, but it will not let you wear one that says ‘Free Hong Kong.’

NBA fans looking to get their own custom jerseys with progressive slogans on the back were slapped with a sobering truth: the league is not as militant as it would have us believe.

According to CBS Sports, the NBA has allowed its players to wear jerseys bearing pre-approved social justice messages including ‘Black Lives Matter;’ ‘I Can’t Breathe;’ and ‘Power to the People.’

This has prompted many fans to shop for their own custom jerseys, care of the store. However, they quickly found out that some activist messages are simply not welcome on official merchandise.

Free Everything Except Hong Kong

As noted by sports journalist Clay Travis, the online store will let you print out practically any message you want on your custom jersey, except ‘Free Hong Kong.’

Embed from Getty Images

“The NBA bans you, the fan, from putting #freehongkong on customized league jerseys even as they allow players to wear customized jerseys,” he said in a tweet.

Travis also posted a short screen recording which showed the website flashing an error message when you try to type in, ‘Free Hong Kong’ on the customized message field.

“We are unable to customize this item with the text you have entered,” the error message read. “Please try a different entry.”

That’s exactly what reporter Jerry Dunleavy did -- he  tried multiple different entries and discovered that the store doesn’t have a problem with the word ‘free.’ 

In fact, the website allows messages like ‘Free the Dolphins’ or ‘Free Hitler,’ but apparently a pro-democracy message was too extreme.

‘Free Hong Kong’ is a popular slogan among dissidents who refuse to sit idly by as Xi Jinping tries to assert control over the formerly autonomous city. 

Not All Slogans Are Created Equal

Based on a Washington Free Beacon list, here are some of the worst spine-tingling statements that do not prompt fans to try a different entry: 

  • Fuck Hong Kong
  • Defund Police
  • Beware of Jews
  • Burn Jews
  • Ban Gypsies
  • Uyghurs Lie
  • Trump has AIDS
  • Cancel Israel
  • Abolish Cops
  • End Taiwan
  • Enslave Tibet
  • Pence Is Gay

When it comes to social justice causes, the NBA seems to be totally on board - providing that it doesn’t cost them any money.

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July 16, 2020




Rosabell Toledo


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